Oct. 25--Angela Miller pledges to tell her husband's heroic story for as long as she can. The widow of slain state Trooper Joshua D. Miller wants her husband's legacy to endure and thinks Wednesday's posthumous honor is another step in securing his place in history.
As dozens of the late trooper's family and friends looked on, Pittston's post office on Dock Street was rededicated as the Trooper Joshua D. Miller Post Office.
"I no longer have the luxury of telling my husband how proud I am of him," Angela Miller said during emotional remarks at the renaming ceremony. "This is the only way I have left -- to honor him, to make sure his name never dies."
Miller, 34, of Pittston Township, was killed June 7, 2009 during a shoot-out with a kidnapping suspect following a 40-mile, high-speed pursuit that ended on Route 611 in Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County. Miller and his partner, Robert Lombardo, were shot, but returned fire and killed the suspect, allowing other officers to free a 9-year-old boy from the gunman's car. Lombardo attended the ceremony honoring his fallen friend.
Angela Miller joined U.S. postal officials, state police Commissioner Frank Noonan and U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta in unveiling a plaque that will be hung in the lobby of the post office that says "This building is named in honor of Trooper Joshua D. Miller."
"We have a mission to not let him be forgotten. Events like this make us feel like we're not in that mission alone," Angela Miller said. "Naming this building after Josh today means so much to me and my family. To me, it's a symbol that long after every single person that is standing here today is gone, that plaque will still be there."
The post office naming, along with several other memorials, reminds area residents about the selfless sacrifice of Trooper Miller, who left behind three young daughters, Angela Miller said.
"For the last three years, I've tried to propel us forward in a positive way. We talk about Josh. We keep him alive in spirit. We tell stories. We watch videos. We look at photos. We never forget what a great husband, father and family member he was. And, as long as we continue to do that, he always stays with us."
Barletta proposed the legislation to name the post office after Trooper Miller and President Barack Obama later signed the bill into law.
"This building is one small way we will remember Josh," Barletta said. "He was a hero. The Gospel of John tells us there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. Joshua Miller did more than that. He laid down his life for a complete stranger. He laid down his life for a helpless 9-year-old boy, who was kidnapped at gunpoint."
Copyright 2012 - The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.