Quinn, Illinois National Guard, Families View the Faces of Fallen PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
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Tuesday, 31 May 2011 13:06

SPRINGFIELD- Gov. Pat Quinn joined Gold Star families and military supporters to honor the sacrifices that Illinois servicemembers have since Sept. 11, 2001. Quinn unveiled the Portrait of a Soldier Memorial exhibit May 27 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library in Springfield.

"As we approach Memorial Day, we must never forget the contributions our servicemembers have made around the world to ensure America remains strong and free," said Governor Quinn. "We honor their sacrifices and stand with our Gold Star families to make sure we keep the memories of their loved ones alive."

Along with Quinn, Air Force Col. William Cobetto of Hillsboro, Acting Assistant Adjutant General-Air and Director of Staff-Illinois Air National Guard stood with families and reflected on the service and sacrifice of Illinois' servicemembers.

"There have been 235 Illinois servicemembers who have died overseas since 9/11, 34 where Illinois Guardsmen," said Cobetto. "Each of their faces are on these walls and each are remembered here."

Artist Cameron Schilling of Mattoon drew the first Portrait of a Soldier in August 2004, after Army Spc. Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, was killed in Iraq. Schilling presented the portrait to Neely's parents. Moved by their joy for the portrait Schilling began a project to preserve the memory of the fallen.

"There are no words in our language or any language to express the feeling of loss of the child, spouses and parents who have lost a love one in Iraq and Afghanistan.

photo 1) U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael Camacho, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs/ Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Air Force Col. Cobetto of Hillsboro, Acting Assistant Adjutant General-Air and Director of Staff-Illinois Air National Guard stand with Gold Star families and reflect on the service and sacrifice of Illinois' servicemembers. Quinn unveiled the Portrait of a Soldier Memorial exhibit May 27 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library in Springfield.

Story by Sgt. Michael Camacho, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs


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