A portion of an American interstate highway has been named after Col. Young-oak Kim, a Korean American war veteran.
After a bill calling for the special designation passed the State Senate last month, a groundbreaking ceremony for the Col. Young-oak Kim Memorial Highway signage was held at Buena Park in California on Friday local time. Local figures took part in the ceremony, including Assembly members Steven Choi and Sharon Quirk-Silva who proposed the bill in February this year.
The Col. Young-oak Kim Memorial Highway stretches on Interstate 5 in Orange County, California, from its boundary with LA County to the State Route 91 exit. A total of four signs will be installed along the highway to show the special designation.
This marks the first time a portion of an interstate highway in the U.S. has been named after a Korean-American.
Born a son of a Korean independence fighter in exile in LA in 1919, the highly-decorated Colonel fought in World War II and the Korean War. Kim was named as one of the 16 greatest war heroes in a list compiled by MSN.com for Memorial Day in 2011.
A middle school, a number of military buildings and the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies have also been named in his honor.