Shane Buckley embraces his mother, Marina, after a street sign...

Shane Buckley embraces his mother, Marina, after a street sign bearing his slain brother Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley Jr.'s name is unveiled in Oceanside. (Aug. 10, 2013) Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Hempstead Town officials Saturday unveiled a sign renaming an Oceanside street in honor of a local Marine killed in Afghanistan one year ago.

More than 150 friends and family turned out for the unveiling of "Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley Drive," on the anniversary of Buckley's death. The commemorative brown and white sign dedicating Greentree Drive -- where he had lived -- was placed at Greentree and Dot Court East.

"We are so proud of him, and we will forever hold his legacy," said Marina Buckley, 48, wearing a button with her son's photo, his military dog tags and a T-shirt bearing his name, birth date and the infinity sign.

Gregory Buckley Jr., 21, died Aug. 10, 2012, in Garmsir, Afghanistan. He and two other Marines were fatally shot while working out in a gymnasium. The gunman was a teenager who had served as an aide to an Afghan police commander. Buckley, who enlisted in the Marines at age 17, was five days from coming home.

"I truly believe that by remembering and celebrating the lives of heroes like Greg, we weave grief, pain and sorrow into strength, courage and connection," Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray said Saturday about the 2009 graduate of Oceanside High School, where he was a basketball star.

His father, Gregory Sr., 49, choked back tears as he spoke and recalled the last letter he received from his son, in which he called him his best friend.

"Greg, I miss you, and I love you with all my heart," his father said. "One day, we will be together again."

Buckley's brothers -- Shane, 19, and Justin, 17 -- also attended the ceremony, consoling their mother, who cried and clasped her hands in prayer after the unveiling.

"The sign was awesome," said Shane. "My brother Greg, if he was here, he would have loved to see that sign. It was a great honor."

Sebastian Buttafuoco, 22, a friend of the Marine since they were 5, remembered his longtime buddy as a great person. "He would have loved this," Buttafuoco said. "He loved the attention."

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