In honor of Veteran’s Day this year, I wanted to showcase several of the Veteran Memorial sites located within the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois. The three sites I focused on are the Veteran Memorial Park in Bettendorf, Iowa; the Hero Street Memorial & Park in Silvis, Illinois; and also the 74 Bridge.
Veteran Memorials in the Quad Cities
Truly, Veterans are an important part of our society. These people have chosen to risk themselves for our benefit and our freedoms. It is important that our communities honor these people and acknowledge their part in our history. Thankfully, we have several sites within the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa, devoted to honoring these Veterans. I’ve included one Veteran Memorial site for each side of the Mississippi River, so there is one accessible to you no matter where you live or visit in the Quad Cities.
The Veteran Memorial Park in Bettendorf, Iowa
The Veteran’s Memorial Park in Bettendorf, Iowa honors those who have fought for our freedom. The Veteran’s Memorial Park is located on 23rd street between Middle Road and Lincoln Road. The memorial’s pillars list about 800 names of local Veterans. 43 of Scott County’s soldiers died fighting in the Vietnam war.
The Veteran’s Memorial Park has several interesting amenities, such as the Bill Bowe Memorial Bandshell and a playground for children. Additionally, the Bill Bowe Memorial Bandshell hosts concerts by the Bettendorf Park Band and ice cream socials during the summer. The playground was updated in 2013, moving it from it’s previous location near the Bandshell. The playground was moved due to frequent flooding from the nearby Duck Creek. Also, the new playground is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including a surface made of rubberized tiles. It is wheelchair accessible and, truly, a lovely playground for kids. Moreover, the park has a movie in the park series throughout the summer that features popular children’s movies.
Not only is it important for adults to remember and honor these brave people, but it is also important that we, as parents, educate our children on these matters as well. Additionally, it is our duty to inform our children, so these Veterans are not forgotten. We honor these Veterans so that we may support those who died, and those who came home.
Hero Street Veteran Memorial Park & Monument in Silvis, Illinois
The Hero Street Veteran Memorial Park & Monument in Silvis, Illinois honors those citizens of Second Street who chose to defend the United States. Notably, over 100 men and women from Second Street in Silvis, Illinois have given service to the United States military. There is no other street, of comparable size, that has had as many men and women give service to the Armed Forces of the United States of America than the 1 and 1/2 block long street in Silvis, Illinois.
Fallen Heroes at the Hero Street Memorial
Ultimately, six of these 100 Military men and women were killed in action during WWII and two during the Korean War. In May 1967, the former Mayor of Silvis, William Tatmen renamed the street to Hero Street USA in recognition of these men and women’s contributions to our country. In addition, the city decided to build a park dedicated to honor the eight deceased service men from Hero Street USA in 1971. The park has a pictorial monument, a Grotto, a playground and a Pavilion. The monument has pictures and biographies of the eight-deceased veteran from Hero Street. Also, the Grotto displays the names of all war dead from Silvis.
Furthermore, a group of men and women met in January of 1993 seeking to propose the building of a lasting granite and bronze monument for the park on Hero Street USA. The Hero Street Monument Committee formed and committed themselves to oversee this project.
The Hero Street Memorial is a Tribute to all Veterans
Ultimately, the Hero Street Monument serves as a tribute to all American veterans who have served proudly in the Military Forces of the United States of America. Therefore, it is important that we pay homage to all those young men and women who answered the call to defend their country. To all those who shed their blood and paid the supreme sacrifice, so that we may enjoy the rights and freedom that our country holds so dear.
The Hero Street USA sign in Silvis, Illinois. Hero Street is a Veteran memorial site in the Quad Cities. Photograph by Adria Black Art. Prints and other products are available with this photograph at Society 6.
The Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge (also known as the I-74 Bridge)
Another Veteran Memorial in the Quad Cities area is the Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge, often called the Twin Bridges or the I-74 Bridge. This is Veteran Memorial honors those Veterans from World War I to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Originally, the I-74 bridge was dedicated in November, 1935, in the memory of Iowa’s and Illinois’ World War I Veterans. A re-dedication occurred with the building of the second span of the bridge (1959) to honor local Veterans of both World Wars. Finally, The Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge was dedicated to include local area veterans from the World Wars and those who served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars when it was opened to Interstate 74 traffic (1970s).
Furthermore, you can check out my article, 10 Facts About the I-74 Bridge You Probably Didn’t Know, for more information about this Veteran Memorial site.
Veteran Memorial Park Events for Veteran’s Day 2017
Additionally, there are events occurring this weekend to honor our Veterans at some of these Veteran Memorial sites.
10 a.m., Saturday, Hero Street Memorial Park, 145 2nd St., Silvis, with a speech by Maj. Gen. Edward Daly, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command.
10 a.m., Saturday, Hero Street Monument, 1st Avenue and 2nd Street, Silvis, with members of Mexican American Veterans Association (MAVA) offering a gun salute and taps. Also participating will be members of the Patriot Guard Riders.
2 p.m., Saturday, Veterans Memorial Park, 1645 23rd St., Bettendorf, U.S. Army Colonel Bradley J. Cook, will speak. Mayor Bob Gallagher, Alderman Greg Adamson and the commanders from the VFW, VVA, and American Legion will attend.
The True Purpose Behind a Veteran Memorial
As we go into this weekend, let’s remember our Veterans. Do not let them be forgotten, nor let others forget them. After all, these brave men and women have fought for the freedoms that we often take for granted. Ultimately, our Veterans are an important part of our society, our history, and our local communities today. Show them the support that they deserve for the sacrifices they have made for our country.