- Family, friends, and local officials unveiled a sign, dedicating a portion of Highway 119 in Taft to Corporal Luis Ruan.
- Many organizations, and individuals, helped to fund these memorial signs which cost more than 9,000 dollars.
A segment of Taft highway has been renamed in remembrance of a local soldier who died in service to our country. The memorial sign now officially marks the beginning of the Corporal Luis Ruan Memorial Highway.
"He's an angel, he was an angel on earth and now he's a big angel in heaven, I know that he's here, to see everything that we're doing for him and he's so happy, and he's so proud of his family, and we are beyond proud of him," says Juana Rodela, mother of Corporal Luis Ruan.
Corporal Luis Ruan was born in 1997 in Long Beach, California. His family moved to Taft when he was 8 years old. He eventually graduated from Taft High School in 2015 and enlisted in the army the next year.
Ruan was stationed in El Paso in 2019 where he was in a training accident, he would pass away a year later due to his injuries.
His mother Juana Rodela said his memory will now live on, not only through the stories she and her family will share, but now through the memorial sign on the highway. It is a project shared by many in the community.
"His voice has been silenced, however his message, his sincerity, will continue to reign true through that sign, reminding everybody, day in and day out every day, that freedom isn't free, and it takes team players' commitment to keep this grand experiment going," says Dave Noerr, Mayor of Taft.
Juana Rodela said over the past few years many organizations, and individuals, helped to fund these memorial signs which cost more than 9,000 dollars. She said she thanked god that the community came together to make this happen.
One of his sisters, Nayeli Ruan, said she was overwhelmed by the support and those who celebrated the unveiling.
"I think it's so freakin cool cause everybody is gonna pass by and there's 2, everybody gonna pass by from here from over here and there gonna see his name up there, they're gonna be like oh yeah we know him," continues Nayeli Ruan.
If you'd like to see it it is located right along Highway 119 in Taft between East Kern Street and Cedar Street. The family thanks many local officials and organizations for their part in the dedication.
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