Route 120 ran through the life of Joseph “Joey” Dimock II.
His mother, Ellen, recalled that it was the roadway she and her husband carefully drove in May 1989 when bringing their newborn son home to Wildwood.
Some 21 years later, it would once again be the road home for Joey Dimock when his family and hundreds of supporters carried him to his resting place following his July 2010 death during service as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan.
“Along Route 120, the police escort, Patriot Guard Riders, Joey, firetrucks, limousines all traveled slowly to our destination,” Ellen Dimock said. “Route 120 was lined with people — people from all over. There were flags. There were so many flags. Scouts, friends, strangers — all along this route, and all were holding flags.
“What a sight. What a day,” she added. “Route 120 was a beautiful sight. What a peaceful sight. What a humble sight. What an honor. To this day, 120 looks a little different to me. Most times, when I’m driving it, I’m reminded of that day.”
Ellen Dimock spoke to another crowd of family, friends and perfect strangers on Friday — the fifth anniversary of Joey Dimock’s death — as the Illinois Department of Transportation unveiled a sign designating Route 120 through Wildwood as Army SPC Joseph ‘Joey’ W. Dimock II Memorial Highway.