ILLINOIS CITY, Illinois -- A small town of just 126 people has joined forces to give thanks to the nation’s veterans.
The Illinois City Veteran’s Memorial Committee today officially broke ground on a new memorial.
It will be located by the city’s fire department which furnished the land. The monument will feature at its heart a concrete slab with space for 350 bricks to be engraved with veterans’ names and unit information.
It will also feature six-foot marble slab engraved with emblems of all the branch services.
"We’re in a very open site along Highway 92, where anyone passing through will see this and hopefully be reminded of the sacrifices that veterans have made so that we can have the democracy we live in," said Kevin Kilkenny, President of the Illinois City Veteran's Memorial Committee.
The committee has already raised $20,000 he said, and is still working meet its goal of $24,000. It is encouraging veterans and their family members to have the name of a service member commemorated on one of the 350 bricks. Kilkenny said all veterans of all wars are welcome, and they don't have to be local to the area.
The monument is expected to be dedicated as early as this summer, Kilkenny said.