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Sarah Phillips had most of the crew lineup for a photo in front of the Carson Holmquist Memorial Highway sign after they had finished cleaning up the roadway.

GRANTSBURG––Community members got together recently to celebrate what would be the 30th birthday of Grantsburg native Carson Holmquist by cleaning up his highway.

Sgt. Carson Holmquist was killed in a shooting in Chattanooga, Tenn. along with three other Marines after a gunman attacked a reserve center during the summer of 2015. He grew up in Grantsburg and was a 2008 graduate of Grantsburg High School.

Holmquist was awarded the Purple Heart award in 2016 and soon after the state’s legislators began circulating a bill to have a highway re-named in his honor.

Then in April 2016 a bill was signed into law to officially rename the highway.

Sarah Phillips spent the last few years driving up and down the highway looking for sections available for adoption. A few months ago she was lucky enough to find a four mile stretch of the highway, with two miles in Burnett County and two in Polk County.

The Wisconsin DOT (Department of Transportation) requires highways to be cleaned three times a year. Phillips chose the dates for a specific reason. The first is in April when former Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill into law to officially change the name of the highway. The second is July 16, the day Sgt. Holmquist was killed. Then the final date of the year, Oct. 6, is his birthday.

“All dates were chosen for a purpose and that’s why I chose those dates,” Phillips said.

On Oct. 6, Phillips was able to get 21 people to help out cleaning their stretch of Carson Holmquist Memorial Highway.

Phillips never met Holmquist and she adopted the highway to keep it clean for him while also thanking him for his service.

The crew lined up in front of the sign commemorating a section of Highway 87 when they were finished for the day by the Grantsburg Fairgrounds. There is a second sign at the edge of St. Croix Falls.