Lincoln, IL – On Feb. 28, Illinois State Senator Sally Turner (R-Beason) and State Representative Bill Hauter (R-Morton) presented certificates of recognition from the Illinois General Assembly to six surviving veterans of World War 2 and six surviving widows of WWII veterans.

“The men and women of our armed forces have throughout the course of our nation’s history proudly fought for our freedoms, defended our way of life, and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country and all that it stands for,” said Sen. Turner. “Today, we honored six World War II veterans and the widows of six WWII veterans from our community. It is a blessing and honor to call these men and women our friends. We are privileged to know them and listen to the stories of the Greatest Generation. The singing of God Bless America resonated with all of us today, and we will continue to honor and support our veterans in Illinois.”

The recognition ceremony was organized by the Central Illinois Veterans Commission (CIVC) and took place in the Congregate Building Family Room at the Christian Village in Lincoln, IL. The event was originally suggested to CIVC by Bill Dennis of the Marine Corps League.

“We gathered here today to honor 12 members of our nation’s Greatest Generation,” said Joe Schaler, CIVC Chairman and Hayes/Krell Purple Heart Chapter Commander. “Whether they fought in the front lines or they were part of the supply chain, whether they were keeping the home fires, burning, waiting for men and women to return we honor them today.”

The six surviving veterans of WWII who received a certificate of recognition included: Paul Heins (U.S. Navy), Bill Gossett (U.S. Air Force), Harold Krusemark (U.S. Army), William Tebrugge (U.S. Army Air Corps), David Welty (U.S. Navy), and Kenneth French (U.S. Army Air Corps. The six surviving widows included: Ruth Aper (Widow of Walter Aper, U.S. Army), Marguerite Warrick (Widow of Harlan Warrick, U.S. Marines), Phyllis Martin (Widow of William Martin, U.S. Army), Joan Behle (Widow of Eldon Behle, U.S. Army), Dorthea Schmidt (Widow of Paul Schmidt, U.S. Army), and Donna Anderson (Widow of Louis Anderson, U.S. Army).

“We can clearly see instances where God has intervened in the story of America. I believe he raised up the Greatest Generation to fight and win World War 2 and advance the cause of freedom around the world,” said Rep. Hauter. “As we grow closer to the time of when we will no longer have these veterans and their memories, all of us should take any opportunity, such as today, to express our deepest gratitude and honor those citizen soldiers that remain with us. I was beyond honored to be a part of the recognition of our Logan County veterans today.”

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