City honors fallen soldier with street name

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 30, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Sgt. Henry L. Brown, the first Natchez serviceman to die in combat in more than three decades, now has a lasting memorial to his sacrifice.

On Tuesday Natchez aldermen voted unanimously to rename Northview Drive &045; the street on which his mother, Rhonda James-Brown, lives &045; after the soldier, who died in early April in Baghdad, Iraq.

&uot;He’s somebody we’re awfully proud of,&uot; Alderman David Massey said in making the motion.

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For her part, James-Brown said she is elated that her son will receive such a memorial.

But she noted that people from throughout the Miss-Lou and the nation have already done so much for her and her family.

&uot;Whatever people did to make this transition easier for us, we thank them so much,&uot; James-Brown said.

The last time Natchez named a street for a soldier was when it named Col. John Pitchford Parkway, according to Massey.

In May, Adams County supervisors also passed a motion calling for the renaming of the street in honor of Brown.

In other business, the city honored Natchez High valedictorian Katrina Johnson and salutatorian Michael Winn Jr. as part of the city’s Presentations Representing Our Unique Diversity, or PROUD, program.

The students’ combination of academic and athletic achievements and involvement in school and community activities &uot;is a perfect example of what public education is all about,&uot; Smith said.

&uot;These are positive things that are going on&uot; with Natchez’s youth, said Alderman Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West.

Focusing on such things will help move the area forward, he said.

&uot;Our kids receive so much negative publicity&uot; that it is good to see students honored in such a way, added Alderman Ricky Gray.

City officials also honored Natchez Fire Cmdr. Chris Gibson as the city’s employee of the month for his longtime service.

Most recently, Gibson used his own personal time and his own welding equipment to weld a piece of training equipment that would have cost taxpayers hundreds of dollars to purchase.