The DeSoto Elementary School choir was on hand to sing
the Star Spangled Banner to begin the ceremony.
DeSoto….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and village officials from the Village of DeSoto joined together today to unveil signage renaming a stretch of highway on Rte. 149 east to Hurst as “Veterans Memorial Highway”.
|Rep. Bryant addresses a large crowd
gathered for the ceremony.
The renaming of this stretch of Rte. 149 was made possible by House Joint Resolution 81, with final passage through the Senate on August 5, 2015. Rep. Bryant and Senator Dave Luechtefeld were the Chief sponsors of the resolution in the House and Senate respectively.
In 2001, planning to build a memorial in the community to DeSoto’s veteran’s of the armed services began. The existing veterans’ memorial was built almost entirely with private donations. DeSoto resident and World War II veteran Jesse Crow designed the 6 ½ foot tall black granite monument; it sits on a triangular island of land bordered by Illinois 149 and Pine and Lincoln Streets.
|Pictured here are Jesse Crow, Rep. Bryant and Village President John Evans displaying the newly unveiled Veterans Memorial Highway sign on Rte. 149 in DeSoto.|
The monument is engraved with the emblems of all the branches of the military and is flanked by matching black granite benches. It also bears the names of all DeSoto’s past and future veterans regardless of whether they served in a time of war or peace.
The ceremony was arranged by DeSoto Village President John Evans, and members of the Village staff.
|A large crowd gathered today to take part in the renaming ceremony and witness the unveiling of the new signs naming Rte. 149 from DeSoto East to Hurst as Veterans Memorial Highway.|
Rep. Bryant also presented the Village of DeSoto with a flag that was flown above the State Capitol in Springfield as a part of the dedication. Pictured below are images of the Veterans Memorial as well as Rep. Bryant with Village President John Evans and WW II Veteran and DeSoto resident Jesse Crow.