DOWNEY − A new townhouse development near Lakewood Boulevard and Gallatin Road honored the late Lance Cpl. Joshua Whittle last Saturday by naming its three private streets after the fallen Downey Marine.
Whittle served just three weeks in Afghanistan before he was killed in June 2009 after stepping on a landmine. He was 20 years old.
Nearly 600 people attended his funeral service at Downey First Baptist Church following a city-wide procession that traveled through various city streets.
Now bright-blue signs labeled Joshua Way, Whittle Court, and Sunshine Place – Sunshine was Whittle’s nickname – line the once vacant roads inside City Ventures’ Downey Collection, a community of three-story, solar-powered townhomes.
City Ventures sales manager Sam Choram said the company agreed to dedicate the streets to Whittle three years ago after Councilmen Roger Brossmer and Mario Guerra requested it.
“It was just the right thing to do,” Choram said. “Everyone here knows, so every time they write their address down they think about the fallen Marine. It’s very meaningful, he is a hero.”
At a poolside ceremony inside the gated community, Mayor Pro Tem Alex Saab and representatives from property owner City Ventures presented Whittle’s family with a resolution commemorating his sacrifice to the city and his country.
“It’s just a small token, but as a city we could never do enough to honor him,” said Saab. “We’re a big city, but at the end of the day, we’re one big family and his name really does come up often.”
Whittle’s mother, Crystal Vincent, accepted the resolution on behalf of her family, thankful that her son will be remembered.
“He’ll definitely live on forever, he’ll never be forgotten now,” Vincent said. “They honored him well, which he deserved. He was a great kid.”
Nearly six years after his death, Vincent said the loss is still very tangible, but acknowledgements like this help her cope.
“If I had my way, the whole world would know about my son,” she said. “And slowly, but surely it’s happening. I just wish I could live on his street.”
Published: March 5, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 47