Georgette and Roy Frank pulled a white cover off of a new street sign in Cliffwood, officially unveiling a road dedicated to their son during a ceremony Saturday morning.
The street, now known as LCpl. Phillip E. Frank Way, is a quiet, winding one that will be home to a new development of townhouses off of County Road called The Bluffs at Aberdeen.
LCpl. Phillip E. Frank was killed in action in Iraq on April 8, 2004, a few months before his twenty-first birthday. The marine grew up in the Cliffwood section of Aberdeen. He attended Cliffwood Elementary, Matawan Aberdeen Middle School, and Matawan Regional High School.
"There's no better way we had to give back to a young man who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. This doesn't even measure up to what he did, and this way we know that Phillip will always be a part of Aberdeen," said Mayor Fred Tagliarini. "He's come home in a symbolic way by naming the street after him."
During the ceremony, Phillip was remembered as a caring young man who would do anything for his friends and family. His mother, Georgette, recalled several stories fellow marines told her of his son.
She told the audience of a time when Phillip not only built bunks for his squad, but also built one squad member a bedside table to put a photo of his daughter on.
"That's the Phil Frank we honor here today. Not the marine, but the young man who cared for everything," Georgette said.
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ, 6th District) reflected on the impact that people like Phillip have on the country.
"If we didn't have people like that, this country wouldn't be what it is today. It wouldn't be possible for my children, grandchildren, to live in a country that has those ideals of democracy, freedom and liberty. We just owe a lot to him and we owe a lot to those like him, who are willing to put their lives on the line for what we believe in," Pallone said.
The street sign was donated by C&M Associates, the company building The Bluffs at Aberdeen.
C&M also had a surprise for the Frank family. Aside from dedicating the street, they also had planted a garden with a marble stone at the center. The stone is engraved with Phillip's photo, as well as a quotation that reads, "Tell them of us and say, for your tomorrows we gave our todays. Semper Fi."
"This is an incredible day," Georgette said. "No one wants their loved one to be forgotten, no matter how they were lost."