Army First Lieutenant Kenneth Ballard, who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq, was given the distinguished honor of having a post office in Northern California named after him.
Since Ballard's death in 2004, his mother Karen Meredith has been pushing for the dedication, the ceremony for which was held Saturday.
"If you ask a family, 'What do you want most?' We don’t want our children to be forgotten," Meredith said.
Meredith’s only child, Ballard died after an accidental discharge of a weapon that was mounted on his tank.
The 26-year-old, from Santa Clara County, was awarded three bronze stars and a purple heart during his nine years of military service.
"He was so devoted to his country," said Rep. Anna Eschoo, who introduced the bill that President Barack Obama signed in January.
"This is I think the kind of tribute that is lasting to him and that future generations that walk in and out of this post office in Mountain View, while they might not know all of his story, they will know that there is someone very brave and very courageous that gave his life for his country."
Meredith said her son died doing what he loved, serving his country. She said she knows there are countless other families whose loved ones have made the same sacrifice and the dedication of the post office is not just for her son, but for everyone in the military.
"He loved life and I have to keep going because he didn’t get that life and I just want to honor him and all the other soldiers," Merideth said.