State Capitol Rotunda: As part of the 2017 Memorial Weekend ceremonies, a Wall of Remembrance was unveiled on Tuesday morning, with state lawmakers and Gov Rauner joining to make comments along with a mother of an Illinois soldier who lost his life in combat.
The Remembrance effort began during the Quinn administration, when an artist began drawing profiles of each Illinois solider Killed in Action during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Now for the second year, the effort has expanded with a video monitor presenting a profile of each Illinois soldier who died in combat. Their photo is accompanied with information about their service and who they were, so that the viewer will get some insight into them as an individual.
Those who visit the Capitol can either watch the presentation slide show of soldiers, or they can search for an individual by name.
A mother of a soldier killed in action, who spoke at the launch of the Wall of Remembrance on Tuesday, said the families of the fallen like to hear stories of how their son or daughter touched the life of someone. She noted that some think it will bring up bad memories of loss if you were to share a story about their lost loved one. But she said just the opposite is true. “They say a man dies twice. Once when he physically dies. And the second time, the last time his name is spoken.”
She said with that in mind, she encouraged those who knew a soldier who was killed fighting for America, to remember them throughout the year, and to be willing to share a funny story or recollection of how the life of the individual lost in battle, had meaning while they lived.
The Wall of Remembrance will remain in the Capitol Rotunda until after the Fourth of July.