We at the Tourism Bureau are incredibly thankful for the brave men and women in ILLINOISouth who have fought, and continue to fight for our freedom. We encourage you to visit three new sites built in three different communities in honor of service people past and present.
Constructed on the main campus of Kaskaskia College, a community college located just outside of Centralia, The Veterans Tribute is a unique, heartfelt monument that honors the men and women who have served, are currently serving, and those who will serve our Country in the future.
Historically, memorials are designated for those who have left us, whereas the Tribute honors all veterans, both living and deceased. The Tribute allows students, family members and visitors a connecting link to veterans by providing a broader spectrum, appreciation, and understanding of the magnitude, of all the veterans have done in preserving democracy and in keeping the dream of freedom alive.
Planned for three phases, the Tribute currently consists of a warrior’s court featuring the seals of the five branches of service and a bronze American Eagle with a ten foot wing span. The Tribute also has two walls which contain granite panels that accommodate more than 25,000 names of veterans. The Tribute itself is ringed with American flags and cherry trees. Future phases include installing three additional walls to contain up to 38,000 names, and an education building.
Over in St. Libory, visitors can honor area heroes at the Veterans Memorial in Wenneman Park. After ten years in the making, the site has plaques for the Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines and Coast Guard. Local veterans are honored with their names in bricks on the top level of the memorial. Freeburg has also recently added a new Military Flag Memorial and Honorary at the Village Park. Residents will gather on Veteran’s Day this year for the site’s first Flag Raising Ceremony.