A sign for Sottile
Marc Valero | Highlands TodayLAKE PLACID
Published: October 6, 2012
Published: October 6, 2012
Motorists on U.S. 27 just north of Lake Placid may have noticed a recently erected memorial sign in remembrance of Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Nicholas G. "Nick" Sottile.
The sign, designated by the 2012 Florida Legislature, is located on the north side of U.S. 27 near a memorial monument for Sottile, who died in the line of duty in January 2007.
Sottile's brother, Jimmy Sottile, requested the memorial sign more than two years ago.
The sign was finally put in place on Sept. 22, Jimmy Sottile said. He picked up his father, who lives in Lake Placid, and they both visited the site and saw the sign the day it went up.
He appreciates the efforts of State Rep. Denise Grimsley and her Chief Legislative Assistant Marty B. Mielke, Jimmy Sottile said. Approval by certain Legislative committees was needed to get the funding and to have the sign built, but Grimsley and Mielke stuck with it.
Grimsley said Friday, "Sgt. Sottile's career was about keeping us safe and secure. This designation is a small way of remembering him and reminding us all that law enforcement officers are putting their lives on the line every day to make the public's safety a reality."
Jimmy Sottile explained that his father, Philip Sottile, 79, goes to the memorial site at least every other day to pull weeds in the flower bed and to make sure everything looks good.
"For him to be able to see a sign out there just means the world to him," Jimmy Sottile said. "He just feels a lot better to go there and see a sign that memorializes Nicky for being there and for what happened."
The state wanted to do a little ceremony and unveiling of the sign, but his father gets very emotional, Jimmy Sottile noted.
"It changed our family forever," Jimmy Sottile said of the murder of his brother. "Our family will never be the same again, never."
He disagrees with the saying, "time heals all wounds," Jimmy Sottile said. A drastic and traumatic circumstance like this does not give a person a chance to say goodbye.
"There are no words to explain it," he said. "Six and a half years and it is just as real as it was as the day it happened."
Jimmy Sottile posted a photo of the memorial sign on his Facebook page. Charlene Gandy commented on Facebook: "Absolutely awesome: A great reminder of the one who would put himself in harms way to protect others; Thanks Mr. Sottile; Proud of all of our fallen officers; Thanks to them and their families we are safe another night."
Nicholas Sottile, who lived in Lake Placid, was 48 when he was murdered during a traffic stop on Jan. 12, 2007.
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