When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For their Tomorrow, we gave our today
--inscription from Fallen Soldiers Memorial
BEARDSTOWN—Students, teachers, veterans and family members gathered together to unveil a memorial commemorating Beardstown High School alumni who died in military service. The Beardstown High School Fallen Soldiers Memorial was dedicated on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The memorial includes three granite tablets containing an epitaph, emblems of five branches of the military and the names of fallen servicemen.
During the dedication, veterans and local officials eulogized some of the former students. State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) spoke during the ceremony.
"We are here to celebrate the dedication of this beautiful memorial," Sullivan said. "I had the opportunity to talk about one of those individuals: Charles Burrus."
Sergeant Charles Burrus enlisted in the Army in 1941 prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was assigned to the 515th Coastal Artillery, stationed in the Philippines. Burrus' unit was the first to engage the Japanese when their forces attacked the Philippines on Dec. 8, 1941.
After three months, U.S. forces in the Philippines surrendered to the Japanese and Burrus was listed as missing in action. He was a participant in the Bataan Death March and died from malaria, malnutrition and dysentery on June 4, 1942.
His family was notified a year later, and his remains were returned to Arenzville.
"The Beardstown community and especially the schools here wanted remember and dedicate this memorial to young people who—starting in World War II all the way up to the current conflict—have participated in some of the major offenses," Sullivan said.
Twenty-four names are inscribed on the Fallen Soldiers Memorial; Burrus was 1 of 17 who died during World War II.
World War II