The Memorial Association was founded in 1999 and in 2000 was chartered as a not-for-profit organization (501C3). The Memorial was constructed to honor the 987,000 men and women from the State of Illinois who served our country during World War II. 22,000 Illinois citizens gave their lives in pursuit of liberty. The Memorial was officially dedicated on December 4, 2004. The Memorial Association also extends an open invitation to Illinois veterans of World War II to write about their wartime experiences and have them included on the WW II Illinois Veterans Memorial archives here at ww2il.com.
June 19th, 2009
The WWII Illinois Veterans Memorial Committee held a special remembrance of the 65th anniversary of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 2009 at the memorial site. The guest speaker at the event was U.S. District Judge Richard Mills. He is a Major General in the Illinois State Militia and a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army.
Click on the link to read his inspirational speech.
There were several WWII veterans in attendance, two of who participated in the invasion. The group of WWII veterans helped place a wreath along the European Wall near the Utah Beach marker.
The ceremony also included a speech by John Carrigan, President of the WWII Illinois Veterans Memorial Committee and a benediction by Paul Wehner. The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun salute and taps.
January 5th, 2009
The World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial Executive Board has partnered with the Area 5 Learning Technology Center on an exciting statewide digital project. Participating students and schools have been conducting interviews with World War II veterans and have created the following website to showcase those interviews. Click on the link to find out more about the project and view the videos that have been posted to the site.
Illinois WWII Memorial Board Classroom Project
April 28th, 2008
WWII U.S. Army veteran, Harold Pankey, of Elkhart, Illinois attended the dedication of a statute commemorating war veterans in Catigny Park in Wheaton Illinois on Veteran’s day last November (2007). In attendance were representatives of a delegation from Belgium.
Mr. Pankey’s unit landed on Omaha Beach in the 3rd wave during the Normandy invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944 and also fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Pankey went on to fight in all five European Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, the Ardennes, Central Europe, and Rhineland. Click here for Mr. Pankey’s complete story.
*Photo Left to Right: Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Farmer of Springfield, Illinois, Representative of Delegation from Belgium, Harold Pankey of Elkhart, Illinois, Representative of Delegation from Belgium
August 13th, 2007
Nearly 987,000 men and women from Illinois served in World War II. It was not entirely uncommon for multiple members of the same family to be serving our country at the same time. The following story about a family from a small community in southeastern Illinois is an incredible example of going “All Out for Victory”.
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June 14th, 2007
This new feature allows you to find the brick number of a specific veterans bricks that have been installed in the central veterans’ plaza of the memorial. Just click on the “Brick Search” link and enter your veteran’s last name in the search box and the feature will display the brick number. The veterans’ bricks are installed in numerical, not alphabetical order and it will be easier to locate a specific veteran’s brick if you know the brick number when you visit the memorial. For more information on how to obtain a brick for your veteran, see the “Commemorative Bricks” section of our website.
March 26th, 2007
We have constructed a cenotaph to honor the more than 22,000 men and women who gave their lives in World War II and added more bricks to the veteran’s brick plaza.
View photos of the new Cenotaph in our Photo Gallery
Photos courtesy of Ralph Laughery
January 2nd, 2007
Newly published WWII Illinois Veteran’s Memorial brochures are now available. To receive the brochures, contact Anne Powers, story editor with your name, address, and number of brochures requested via e-mail at email@example.com.
January 2nd, 2007
We’ve expanded our guestbook feature and you can now comment on an individual veteran’s story in addition to leaving a general comment in the “Guestbook” link. To leave a comment on a veteran’s story simply fill out the short form appearing at the bottom of the story. Family and friends of WWII IL veterans are encouraged to share stories and memories for their vet.