NASHVILLE, TN, USA U.S. Marines CPL, HQSVCCO, 1ST BN, 2D MAR, 2D MEB, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC AN NASIRIYAH, IRAQ 03/23/2003
Marine Corporal Patrick Nixon, a 2000 graduate of Overton High School in Nashville, Tenn., enlisted in the Marines while still in high school and went to basic training that summer. His father, David Nixon, is a Vietnam War veteran, a Marine and two older brothers are veterans. Nixon talked of becoming a history teacher after finishing his service.
“He joined the Marines to defend his country,” said his stepmother, Debra Nixon. “He didn’t want to talk about getting married or settling down or anything right now; that’s what he wanted.” Nixon is the first Tennesseean killed in combat in Iraq.
In September 2004, the Sumner County Board of Commissioners dedicated the bridge spanning the Gallatin by-pass on State Route 386 in memory of CPL Nixon. “It is only fitting that a bridge should be named for Patrick, since it was at a bridge where he gave his life’ said his father David Nixon. Nixon further explained that his son was always trying to bridge gaps by wanting his family and friends to get along, so it is only fitting that a bridge should symbolize the American spirit of getting along even with different viewpoints, religions and ideas. “Our enemies hate that and can’t understand that.
Through time we will heal, but we will never, ever, ever forget, Semper Fi,” concluded Nixon.
Jerry A. Hill, administrative services assistant with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs talked about Nixon’s commitment and heritage.” He chose to be a Marine; he chose to take an active part in defending our country. He follows three generations of commitment in the United States Marine Corps and he was prepared to give the full sacrifice. There is no higher calling, in my opinion, than to serve the United States in the military,” he said.
“The bridge symbolizes the tying of one generation to the next and it is fitting that the Iraqi War tribute should bridge the Vietnam Veterans Parkway,” said Bruce Parr, president of the Sumner County Vietnam Veterans who came to honor Nixon.
Ginger Nixon, Patrick’s sister talked about the continued support the family is receiving.” His mother’s ashes have now been spread over his grave at Arlington Cemetery, and we know they are together again. Your support of our family has been wonderful and we couldn’t have done it without you. We need to continue to pray for the men and women stationed overseas,” she said.
Linda White, Patrick Nixon’s cousin, closed the ceremony with a solo rendition of ‘I Will Remember You.’
On March 23, 2003, CPL Nixon was part of a unit that was ambushed while trying to secure a bridge at Nasiriyah, Iraq. He was one of eight Marines declared missing and was confirmed dead on March 30, 2003. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.