LOS ALAMITOS (KABC) -- A special honor in Orange County has been given to United States Army Sergeant Thomas MacPherson, who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Afghanistan: A memorial highway dedication marking the nine year anniversary of his death.
Friends and family gathered outside of Los Alamitos High School on a brisk fall afternoon to pay tribute to the late veteran. His mother, Didi, said her son absolutely loved what he did in the service.
"He had been on his fifth deployment when he was killed. Two weeks before he was supposed to come home. So you never think you're going to be the one that gets the knock on that door," said Didi MacPherson.
Sgt. MacPherson just 26 years old when he was killed during a heavy firefight in Afghanistan.
Signs will honor the late sergeant on the northbound and southbound 605 freeway at the Katella Avenue entrances in Orange County.
"I think probably the first few times I drive by it's going to hit, but at the same time I know people are going to be praying for me," said Didi MacPherson.
Honoring Our Fallen, a nonprofit honoring veterans and supporting their families, believes a hero remembered never dies...and works with cities and counties to honor their sacrifices.
"Let's build something. Let's say their names and let his legacy live on," said Laura Herzog, CEO, "Honoring Our Fallen."
Sgt. MacPherson's mother believes if her son were still alive today, his only hope would be for peace, love and freedom.
"Love our country. Let's take care of ourselves because people have shed blood for us to be free," said Didi MacPherson.