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Louis Maxwell, Jr. Honored with Street Co-designation

Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan (second from right) honors Louis Maxwell, Jr. for saving U.N. employees from a Taliban attack in Afghanistan.
Louis Maxwell, Jr., a resident of the City of Miami Gardens, was honored on May 24 for his role in staving off a terrorist attack against United Nations employees in Afghanistan last year. Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, along with Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson, dedicated a portion of NW 37th Avenue from NW 199th Street to County Line Road as “Louis Maxwell, Jr. Street.”

Maxwell, a former Navy Serviceman, became a United Nations Close Protection officer in Kabul, Afghanistan. On November 4, 2009, as he was securing a residential hotel housing United Nations employees, Taliban militants armed with assault rifles and suicide vests stormed the facility during a daylight attack. Maxwell and other security officers, armed with only handguns in their possession, were able to hold off the Taliban long enough for 34 civilians sleeping in the facility to escape. Unfortunately, Maxwell was killed while defending the hotel and its occupants.

“The fact that Mr. Maxwell had the wherewithal to protect the U.N. employees within the midst of all that chaos demonstrates a level of bravery that is rare,” said Commissioner Jordan. “Miami-Dade owes Mr. Maxwell and his family a great debt for upholding our freedom overseas.”

Maxwell’s family was also present at the ceremony to see the unveiling of the co-designated street. The marching band from Miami Central Senior High School, his alma mater, played the Star Spangled Banner.

Moved by Maxwell’s story, Commissioner Jordan sponsored legislation to create the Miami-Dade Honor guard to serve at the request of families for Miami-Dade Residents who have lost their lives while serving in the United State Military or international peace-keeping force in defense of the U.S. In addition, she also called for the creation of the Miami-Dade County Medal of Valor to serve as the highest honor the County can bestow upon a person who voluntarily risked and sacrificed his or her life in the line of duty to preserve peace and freedom. Commissioner Jordan will recommend Maxwell to be one of the first residents to receive this honor posthumously.