MCDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) — Community members surrounded the War Memorial at Woodland Park in the Village of McDonald Sunday afternoon.

All for a special ceremony to honor Dennis Neil Johnston, the community’s only casualty of the Vietnam War. It was an especially emotional day for his family.

“As much as I wish this day would’ve never happened because that would’ve meant he was here. I’m still honored, so honored to be his sister,” Cheryl Pallante said.

Dennis was killed in action on April 16, 1968 — but his memory now lives on as a stretch of McDonald Avenue has been designated as the “Dennis Neil Johnston Memorial Boulevard.”

Its been three years in the making to come up with the right way to remember and honor him.

“I got with the Disabled American Veterans in Warren and they funded the signage program, we pitched to Weathersfield and the village and that’s why we’re here today,” said Dennis’s friend Raymond Bishop.

Raymond Bishop met Dennis when he was 12 years old, just two years before Dennis left for Vietnam. He described him as a truly stand-up guy.

“Every Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day I go to the cemetery in Niles and I always visit his grave,” Bishop said.

He said he’s happy he found a way to honor his friend, especially because he made a promise to Dennis’s family that he would never be forgotten.

“The whole new generation of village citizens now knows who Dennis Johnston was,” Bishop said.