A Dawson County boy who died of cancer at age 12 has been forever memorialized at a popular highway intersection in Dawsonville.
On Thursday, a special ceremony was held to name the intersection of Highway 53 and Perimeter Road in memory of Kenneth Stewart, who died in March of 2013 of brain cancer. Shortly after the ceremony, Georgia Department of Transportation placed signs at all four approaches to the intersection naming it the Kenneth Webster Stewart III Memorial Intersection.
This is a special occasion, a special event for a special little boy, House Rep. Kevin Tanner said. Tanner drafted a resolution to rename the intersection earlier this year and carried it through the House. State Sen. Steve Gooch, who was also in attendance, sponsored the resolution in the Senate.
Tanner said he wanted to have the intersection named after Stewart because he touched many lives in Dawson County.
He was an example of such a fine young man that was a fighter and an inspiration, he said. Even with all the struggles he had personally in his life, dealing with cancer, he continued to have such a strong faith and personality.
Tanner said he chose that particular intersection because of the impact Stewart had on Robinson Elementary School. All the people who turn at this intersection going to that school will be able to remember him and the life and legacy he left behind.
Stewarts mother, Anna Miles, said she was surprised when she was first approached about the intersection. When I was first told and approached by this, I didnt know what to say, she said. Putting aside the fact that Im his mom, I know theres 50,000 other people in this county that have done things that deserve to have their name up there. So to know that a little boy had such an impact on a community really blows me away. To call him my son, I consider myself the lucky one.
Even in his short life, Stewart taught Miles many valuable lessons, she said: to not take life for granted and to live every moment to the fullest. We keep his spirit alive through us by loving others, loving our lives, thanking God for each day that he gives us, the mother said.
Miles said she hopes that when people pass through the intersection, the signs memorializing her son will encourage them to be grateful. Each time that we stop at this red light, we might have a bad day, we might have a bad moment. Work might have been stinky that day. But look up and just say thank you, God, for today because every day that Kenneth was blessed with was a day he thanked God for.
In attendance at the ceremony were many of Stewarts friends who had been taking part in the Sheriffs Department Junior Academy.
Miles asked the junior cadets to keep the memory of Stewart alive. So when you guys grow up, she said, and you have families of your own, maybe you guys can tell his story and change their life and maybe they can change someone elses and it will just keep going.