A small memorial with a large impact in Central Illinois - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

A small memorial with a large impact in Central Illinois

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The late Bill Maher created this memorial to pay tribute to local heroes within the East Peoria and Washington communities. 

Since his passing in 2007 the memorial has received little attention and one man has been working to change that.

Sunnyland resident and civil engineer, Sean Rennau, says he couldn't stand to see such a beautiful site forgotten.

"I just want to give the proper dues to our veterans and respect. They've served us for so long and so we need to do something for them," says Sean Rennau of Sunnyland. 

Rennau is working to restore the memorial.

He's hoping to raise 60,000 dollars through donations and grants and is asking for help in maintaining the memorial once it's touched up.

"As you can see, there's some name plates missing off that monument. So that's kind of really what brought me here,"  says Sean Rennau.

Not only are name plates missing.

The site isn't accessible for people with disabilities, the benches are worn and the flag pole is an old parking lot pole with unstable pulley. 
"we want it to be an attractive place where people want t come and visit and pay respect to our veterans," says Sean Rennau.

His goal is to make a larger black granite monument, that includes names from East Peoria and Washington.

He wants to include a new flag pole, sidewalks, greenery and a underground storm detention area. 

Rennau says there's only one word that describes why he chose to do this. 

"Community. Community. Community. It's encouraging to bring people together and beautify the place in which you live." 

He's looking to break ground this fall and says it wouldn't take long to get construction done. 

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