Better Late Than Never, Hero Street Monument Finally Dedicated

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Margarito L. Soliz grew up and knew the fallen heroes of Hero Street. He remembershero_street_monument their parents not knowing the language, surviving and coming here to work.Hero Street’s memorial committee dedicated the monument on October 6, 2007 to their sons, eight soldiers who died in battle, all from that one street.

 

A moment of silence was held for William Sandoval who died on the date of the ceremony, over sixty three years ago.

 

“They gave and they gave and they gave,” Soliz said.

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The eight men were all Mexican-American. They were Carlos Soliz, Frank Sandoval, Joseph Gomez, Johnny Muños, Joe Sandoval, Meter Masias, Tony Pompa, and William Sandoval.

 

The mayor of Silvis, Lyle Lohse said that the city should be proud of the Mexican Heritage in town and that the city has grown as the monument has grown. The Star Spangled Banner was sung and was followed with four other patriotic songs. Scottish bagpipes were even played.

 

Monsignor James Ramer of Our Lady Guadalupe Church in Silvis, and St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s in East Moline gave the invocation. Ramer thanked God for the heroes who answered the call to defend the freedom of the United States. After the invocation, he blessed the statue. The U.S. Marine Corps placed wreaths on the monument.

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Former Ill. state senator Denny Jacobs said that we should forget about all of the battles that happened before the statue was dedicated.

 

“It’s about the heroes and 100-plus serving their country,” he said. His son, current Ill. State Senator Mike Jacobs said that to get your picture on the wall, a supreme sacrifice was paid and that they had earned the right to be called a hero.

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He also wanted to remind the young people that their forefathers came to this country and some gave their life.

 

“It’s not enough to go into the service. I want them to become doctors, lawyers, successful people, and to give back to the community like Mr. (Bob) Ontiveros has done for his community. I don’t want people to die for their country; I want them to live for their country.”

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The keynote speaker was retired Major General Wade “Hamp” McManus. He was honored to be at the memorial. When he last came to Hero Street, Memorial Day weekend in 2003 asked, “if anyone doubted the existence of the American dream, let them come to Hero Street. For here you can find the true meaning of the words courage and honor and duty and above all patriotism.”

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