Preparations are underway for the inaugural celebration of the Veterans Tribute to be held Sunday, June 7 on the main campus of Kaskaskia College in Centralia. Details were discussed Monday morning during a Veterans Tribute Committee meeting. As part of the meeting, the committee honored retiring KC President Dr. Jim Underwood.
Committee members stres-sed that it’s a perfect time to hold the celebration considering work will begin soon on Phase 2 of the Tribute project.
The project started out as names of veterans written in magic marker on a poster board in the halls at Kaskaskia College in Centralia.
This project has progressed from that concept nearly seven years ago to now a reality, based on the inspiration of Jim Beasley, co-chair of the Veterans Tribute Project.
In fact, when committee member Don Berdeaux constructed a homemade model with scraps from home, including cotton balls glued onto golf tees to represent blossoming cherry trees, that's when the project really got off the ground.
Now, the project has turned into something far grander than anyone could have imagined.
The Illinois House of Representatives recently adopted a resolution honoring Cardinals Hall of Famer Albert ‘Red’ Schoendienst for his outstanding achievements and contributions made to Major League Baseball. The resolution (HR 488) was sponsored by state Rep. Charlie Meier of Okawville. Meier commented, “I introduced the resolution to honor Red because he is an Illinois native and we are very proud of his accomplishments. Red was born in Germantown just a few miles down the road from my hometown. Since 2015 marked the 70th year Mr. Schoendienst first wore the uniform and is a 10-time National League All Star, I deemed it was important for Illinois to honor one of its distinguished natives for his accomplishments.”
The resolution adopted by the Illinois House of Representatives states the following;
WHEREAS, The 2015 St. Louis Cardinals baseball season marks the 70th year since Albert “Red” Schoendienst first wore the uniform; and
WHEREAS, For 45 seasons “Red” wore the uniform as a player, coach, and manager; and
WHEREAS, “Red” Schoendienst is a 10-time National League All Star; and
WHEREAS, Albert “Red” Schoendienst was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989; and
With an inquisitive mind and easygoing demeanor, World War II veteran Glenn Oliver reflects on his military experience, the Invasion of Sicily and reaching 90 years.
As we approach Memorial Day and honor those who have died in military service, it’s also an important time to remember and say thanks to all veterans.
Glenn Oliver of Aviston, who now resides at Trenton Village, celebrated his 90th birthday in March. The member of the greatest generation recently took time out to reflect on his military service with the U.S. Navy during World War II and what he refers to with a smile as “one hell of a life.”
“I entered the service in the middle of September 1942,” Oliver said. “Went and boarded the ship in New York City on Thanksgiving Day 1942, docking alongside the SS Normandie.”
He was just 17 at the time, and enjoyed a turkey dinner on the pier before going on board with his fellow sailors.
“To this day I don’t know how a young kid can go to a strange town and find his way around, never been there before in his life, but you do,” Oliver said. “It just amazes me how you do it.”
That young inquisitive kid, who grew up with three sisters in the heart of East St. Louis, soon traveled to foreign places he’d never dreamed of exploring.
Oliver recalls that he spent a month in Norfolk, Virginia before the ship headed to North Africa.
“We were on the second wave of ships to come in from the Atlantic,” Oliver said.
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