Illinois Senate Republicans officially opened their third annual Memorial Day Wall of Remembrance display in the state Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday. Joining Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno in opening the display was Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jefferies.
“This display is a somber memorial to America’s true heroes,” said Radogno (R-Lemont). “Those we honor answered the call to protect us, and in doing so gave their lives to ensure our freedom was preserved. We owe them our deepest gratitude and support.”
Located in the Capitol Rotunda, the Wall of Remembrance display is open to the public from May 26 to July 4, during normal business hours.
“The freedom we enjoy today is a direct result of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many brave Americans who put love of country first,” said Gov. Rauner. “This Wall of Remembrance is a way for all Illinoisans who visit our Capitol to pay homage to true American heroes.”
Leader Radogno encourages people passing through the Capitol Rotunda to take a moment to pause and thank these brave men and women for their sacrifices by placing notes of gratitude on the Wall of Remembrance.
“Today, we gather as a state to remember those who gave their lives for our great nation. We are reminded that freedom is not free. We will never forget these Illinois heroes who offered the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said IDVA Director Erica Jeffries.
Also addressing attendees at the dedication was Denise Williams, Illinois President of American Gold Star Mothers. Denise, whose son PFC Andrew Meari was killed in action on Nov. 1, 2010, in Afghanistan, stressed the importance of celebrating the memory of those who served.
“Even for those of whom Memorial Day is personal, it should nonetheless be a day of celebration, gratitude and honor,” said Williams. “It should also be a day to celebrate the freedom we have, the freedom these brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice to defend.”