PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A plaque was rededicated at St. Mark Catholic Church in Peoria on Memorial Day.
“We want to remember those people, the men and women in military service, who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said St. Mark School Director of Advancement Maria Carroll.
The plaque recognizes nine male members of the church who lost their lives in World War II. The group ranged in age from 17 to 32.
Eileen McDonough said her brother, Herbert Eaton, is one of the men being honored.
“We’ve just grown up with knowing that he had lost his life for this country,” McDonough said. “To think of them growing up in this neighborhood, going to the same school that I went to, and then learning about their sacrifice, it’s almost overwhelming.”
She said Memorial Day is emotional, and the ceremony is important to her family.
“It means a great deal because I have a son who is in the military also, and a grandson,” McDonough said.
Scoutmaster Bob Ripp said the plaque was lost for many years before he found it in the church basement.
“I’ve been thinking about this for probably 20 years since I found that plaque that we need to get it hung back up,” Ripp said.
Now the plaque is on display for all to see. Church leaders said they plan to make the gold star mass an annual tradition too.