Oakland Soldier Honored with IL Highway 133 Designation in Oakland

Lt. Jared Southworth's mother, Kim Southworth, speaks about her son during the Memorial Ceremony at the Oakland Town Square on July 6, 2024.

“Lt. Jared W. Southworth Memorial Highway”

Saturday, July 6, 2024, nearly 250 people came together to dedicate a section of Illinois Route 133 through the town of Oakland as the “Lieutenant Jared Southworth Memorial Highway.” House Joint Resolution 39 was sponsored by Rep. Adam Niemerg and Rep. Chris Miller in the House and Sen.
Chapin Rose in the Senate to designate the highway in Southworth’s honor.

“Our soldiers come first. We need to honor our soldiers. It is going to be a really great day to honor a great service member of our country,” said State Representative, Adam Niemerg in his interview with WAND TV.

Lt. Southworth was a member of the Illinois National Guard and Army Ranger. He died in Afghanistan from an improvised explosive device in 2009. Saturday, he was honored for his sacrifice for his country. 

House Joint Resolution 39 can be found here.

The dedication ceremony included Southworth’s family and friends, among them more than a dozen of those who served with Jared in the Illinois Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, 33d Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Jared, who was also an Oakland Police officer, was killed in action on Feb. 8, 2009 in Afghanistan. Jared lived his life by the motto “God, family, and country.” He was a member of the Oakland Christian Church; a devoted husband, father, son, and brother.

“This is an example of how small-town America honors one of our own,” said Kim Southworth, Jared’s mother. “Jared loved this community.” Kim recalled how people lined the streets all the way from the airport to the cemetery on the cold winter day when Jared came home. “Thank you for the love and compassion you showed to our family.”

A friend and neighbor of the Southworth’s, Linda Taber, helped push for the legislation and organized the dedication ceremony.