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Bill to honor ‘Frankfort boys’ passes House committee

By The Mercury

A bill that would honor 37 Frankfort soldiers, sailors and airmen killed during World War II was approved by the House Committee on Transportation Tuesday. That action followed testimony from Frankfort native and WWII veteran Frank Benteman, who has advocated the measure.

The bill, sponsored by Washington-based Republican Rep. Sharon Schwartz, seeks to name part of K-99 the “Frankfort Boys World War II Memorial Highway.”

The memorial highway would stretch from the south city limits of Frankfort to the junction with U.S. Highway 36 east of Marysville. Signs would be erected to designate the highway.  It will cost the state around $3,000 to re-name the highway.

The committee’s action advances the bill to the floor of the House. If it passes, it will be considered by the Senate.

Benteman told committee members Tuesday that he has been working on a way to honor the World War II casualties for six and one-half years.

The city of Frankfort, which in 1940 had a population of 1,243, lost 37 men to the war effort, the highest per capita death toll of any city in the United States. In November of 2006, Sen. Pat Roberts read the names of the 37 into the Congressional Record. Since then they have collectively been known as “The Frankfort boys.”

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