Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says the state honors the men and women for their bravery.
Since Sept. 11, 2002, 52 Illinois active duty guard and reserve service members have died in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The memorial is a bronze plaque that includes the name of each service members from Illinois killed.
One of the 52 names on the hero’s plaque is Brandon Rowe. Brandon graduated from Hononegah in 2000. Within the year he was off to join the United States Army. By March 3 2003 Brandon was deployed.
It was on his mission with the 101st Airborne Division that he became a casualty of war. He died on March 31, 2003 fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rowe was struck by enemy fire under his arm where he wasn't protected by armor.
The memorial will remain on display at the Senior Center on the fairgrounds in Springfield through Aug. 22. Starting Aug. 23, the memorial will be temporarily displayed at the State Capitol Rotunda before moving to its permanent home at the Illinois State Military Museum.