Illinois House remembers military dead
Illinois House members took a few minutes Monday to remember members of the military from the state who died this past year.
Organized by Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Greenville, the annual Fallen Heroes Remembrance was attended by Illinois National Guard Members who presented the flags of the United States and Illinois, placed a memorial wreath in front of the desk of the Speaker of the House and played "Taps."
Stephens explained the purpose of the ceremony on the House floor.
"To every fallen hero we say with devotion, we will never forget you," Stephens said.
A resolution adopted in 2005 by the House created the policy of reading the names of Illinois fallen soldiers each year. House members representing the home districts of the 44 deceased soldiers read the names and hometowns of each Illinois casualty.
Rep. David Leitch, R-Peoria, read the name of the most recent fallen soldier from Illinois. Lance Cpl. Benjamin D. Desilets from Elmwood died in Iraq on May 22.
"I think it's extremely appropriate that we take a moment to -- Memorial Day is an ideal time to do that -- just pay our respect to the men and women who have died in service to the country overseas in the last year," Leitch said.
Central soldiers included in the ceremony, their home towns and the dates of their deaths were:
Spc. Ronald W. Gebur, Delavan, May 13, 2006
Pfc. Caleb A. Lufkin, Knoxville, May 25, 2006
Petty Officer 1st Class Gary T. Rovinski, Roseville, June 5, 2006
Cpl. Ryan J. Buckley, Nokomis, June 23, 2006
Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry A. Tharp, Aledo, July 12, 2006
Spc. Kristofer C. Walker, Creve Coeur, Oct. 2, 2006
Senior Airman Daniel B. Miller, Jr., Galesburg, Jan. 7, 2007
Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer A. Valdivia, Cambridge, Jan. 16, 2007
Pfc. Lucas V. Starcevich, Canton, April 16, 2007
Lance Cpl. Benjamin D. Desilets, Elmwood, May 22, 2007
Laura Camper can be reached at (217) 782-6882 or email@example.com.