Traveling exhibit honors fallen Illinois soldiers

Gov. Pat Quinn is spending Memorial Day weekend honoring our service members.

The Memorial exhibit “Portrait of a Soldier” is at the O’Hare Oasis until June 1. It features more than 300 Illinois service members killed overseas since 9/11. The exhibit travels throughout the state, and Quinn often visits to give a speech on the opening day.

Quinn said more than ever veterans need support from their communities.

“It’s our duty, the living, to make sure that when our service members return, we make sure they have the kind of education and healthcare and jobs that they need in order to go forward in life,” Quinn said.

Cameron Schilling, a Mattoon artist, started the exhibit after drawing a portrait in 2004 of a soldier from his hometown who was killed, Spc. Charles Neeley. The portraits at the exhibits are copies; Schilling gave the originals to family members.

The portraits will next move to the Bishop Hill State Historic Site in Bishop Hill, where they will be on display until July 1.

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