One day after the passing of U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, Columbia County honored the seven-term Republican legislator with street signs bearing his name.
The signs displaying "Norwood Drive" were installed Wednesday along a road that travels to the side of the county's courthouse in Evans. It was an honor Columbia County commissioners announced Monday at a called board meeting, also agreeing to name the courtyard in front of the Evans courthouse Norwood Freedom Plaza.
"I think it's very appropriate that we do that,'' said Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross, adding that Norwood's last general public address to Columbia County residents was at the county's Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration last year in front of the courthouse.
In fitting form, a committee for this year's Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration has decided to focus the event on honoring Norwood.
The seventh annual event will be held May 26. It will be the third held in front of the Justice Center, and the first without Norwood as the featured speaker.
The committee held its first planning session Wednesday.
"We're planning to use the occasion to dedicate the plaza and street in Charlie's memory," said Barry Paschal, co-chairman of the event and publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. "Everyone appreciated Charlie's participation in the celebration, and we are glad to be able to honor him on the site where he gave his final speech before a general Columbia County audience."
Norwood represented Georgia's 10th Congressional District in the House of Representatives, which included all of Columbia County.
Norwood had returned home on Feb. 7 to begin hospice care in Augusta after forgoing further treatment for lung cancer that had spread to his liver. It was announced on Tuesday that Norwood had lost his battle with cancer. His funeral was held Thursday at First Baptist Church of Augusta.
Gov. Sonny Perdue, who ordered state flags on state buildings lowered to half-staff, will now have to call for a special election to fill the seat.
County commissioners said they wanted to have the street and plaza named in Norwood's honor for all he had done while in Congress.
"He has served us extremely well," Columbia County Commissioner Ron Thigpen said.
Cross said a committee being established to look at possibilities for a county-owned field behind the Kroger in Evans also could consider naming that land after Norwood. Currently, the area is referred to as the Evans Town Center Park.
John Stone, a spokesman for Norwood, said the naming in Norwood's honor is the first he had heard of by a government entity, adding that the act means a lot to Norwood's family.
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