Donna Cline, Oregon, had mixed emotions Oct. 5 as she looked at the dozens of photos of servicemen and women displayed on the Illinois Patriot Guard Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall.
"I think it's a nice tribute, but I don't like to see all these young people gone," she said.
Cline and her husband Willis were among those who went to see the wall, which was on display at the Oregon Coliseum during the Autumn on Parade festival last weekend.
Willis, a Korean War veteran who served in the U.S. Army, also appreciated the memorial.
"I think this is really nice," he said.
The wall, initiated by Gold Star families and the Patriot Guard Riders, pays tribute to Illinois military members who gave their lives in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.
The wall, which bears the names, portraits, hometowns, ranks, and dates of death of each service member, has made its way around the area for local ceremonies and events.
It includes the names of several local service members:
• Army Pfc. Scott Tyrrell, 21, Sterling, who died Nov. 20, 2003, of wounds suffered six days earlier in Tikrit, Iraq.
• Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Patten, 19, Byron, who was killed Dec. 1, 2005, by a roadside bomb in Fallujah, Iraq.
• Army Pfc. Norman L. Cain III, 22, Mt. Morris, who was killed March 15, 2009, by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
• Marine Staff Sgt. Justus S. Bartelt, 27, Polo, who died in combat in Afghanistan on July 16, 2010.
• Marine Lance Cpl. Alec E. Catherwood, 19, Byron, who was killed Oct. 14, 2010, during a combat mission in Afghanistan.
Cline said her son, daughter, a son-in-law, and grandson are all military veterans and some saw duty in combat zones.
"They all came back safe," she said. "Right at this moment I have no one in the military and it feels kind of good."
Go to www.ilpgmemorialwall.com for more information about the memorial wall.