ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A new highway sign in south St. Louis County is sure to catch the attention of drivers.
The Firefighter Benjamin J. Polson Memorial Highway was officially dedicated Sunday morning at Mackenzie Road near Watson Road.
Polson, 32, was killed while battling a vacant house fire in north St. Louis January 13, 2022.
The dedication brought Polson’s mother, Susan, to tears.
“It’s very nice having the sign so close to the cemetery where he’s laid to rest,” she said.
Polson was buried at Resurrection Cemetery on Mackenzie Road.
The sign is also located in the same neighborhood where Polson worked at the Waterway car wash during his high school days.
Over the summer, Governor Mike Parson signed into legislation a bill designating the stretch of road in Polson’s honor.
The legislation was the efforts of State Rep. David Gregory and The St. Louis Hero Network.
Charlie Metzner, president and founder of the St. Louis Hero Network, delivered opening remarks before a crowd of family, friends, colleagues, and members of the community. Metzner was Polson’s cousin.
“He was a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, and a friend to many,” he said, adding that the sign, “is so the community will not forget his courage, his bravery, or his sacrifice that he made for this place we all call home.”
Members of Polson’s crew from Engine House 13, in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood, were in uniform and present for the dedication.
Polson grew up in St. Louis, graduated from St. John Vianney High School and later Missouri State University. He earned an MBA and law degree before he joined the St. Louis Fire Department in 2019.
Polson also played hockey. Many of his friends from his league attended the Sunday morning event.
Polson’s father, Jim, is a retired captain with the St. Louis Fire Department.
St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said hopes drivers recognize the significance of the new memorial sign.
“This is a small reminder to the community of the sacrifice that firefighters give on a daily basis and their families,” he said.