LE ROY, Ill. — When the bombs hit Pearl Harbor, American lives changed forever, and for one Central Illinois family it marked the beginning of a tragedy.
Three Le Roy brothers gave their lives during World War 2 and on Monday they were recognized for paying the ultimate price.
“A lot of people do not realize that a veteran, the day that they sign their name to that paper, gives up all of their rights, so that they can give you your rights,” said American Legion Post 79 Post Commander, Mark Young.
Le Roy natives Ralph, Leonard and David Gaultney were remembered today for all they have done for the country.
“Three boys from the same family all passed away in World War 2,” said Senator Chapin Rose (R) Mahomet. “You’re never going to replace a human being, but it’s important to continue recognizing them and remembering them.”
The three brothers now have a permanent memorial near their home town, the Gaultney Brothers Memorial Highway. Now whenever you drive on I-74 by Le Roy you too get to thank the McLean County men that fought for us.
“I couldn’t think of a better day to do this then Veterans Day,” said Sen. Rose. “Anytime you get a chance to stand up and remember our veterans, it just speaks to the wonderful men and women who serve us every day.”
Although the brothers couldn’t start families of their own, their extended families received the honor on their behalf.
“This is something that happened so many years ago,” said Jerry Denney, Gaultney Brothers Family Member. “An event like this seems like it shortens the distance of it, and brings it up in your mind. It’s a good thing, wonderful thing that they have done.”
Ralph Gaultney was the first person from McLean County killed in the war, he was on a ship hit in Pearl Harbor. A short while after Leonard died in action during the battle of the Solomon Islands. Not long after that David was killed during the battle of Iwo Jima.