The symbolic flagship of our organization is the
Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall.
It is a volunteer memorial outreach project initiated and completed by Gold Star Families (families of the fallen) and members of the Illinois Patriot Guard Riders. It is the product of an idea expressed by the father of one of Illinois’ fallen military heroes after visiting a stationary memorial on display at the Illinois Gathering of the Guard in 2010. Simply put, he said "This wall must be seen by as many people as possible". With that said, the Illinois Patriot Guard Riders began the process of planning and building the Traveling Memorial Wall. Accordingly, it is the result of untold hours of volunteer labor; donated materials; and expenses met by our organization.
On the Traveling Memorial Wall are the names; memorial pictures; Hometowns; and the branch and dates of service of all of Illinois’ military men and women who have died while or as the result of supporting Operation Enduring Freedom; Operation Iraqi Freedom; and Operation New Dawn. Sadly but importantly, it is updated on an ongoing basis as necessary.
The Traveling Memorial Wall is in the care of Gold Star Families and, with the financial support of the Illinois Patriot Guard Riders and donations, is maintained and transported throughout the State of Illinois free of charge to organizations and events who request its presence.
The inaugural mission of the Traveling Memorial Wall was its appearance on February 26, 2011 in Woodstock, Illinois. After that first mission, the Traveling Memorial Wall made well over 60 appearances at various events throughout the State of Illinois during its first year, and continues to be booked frequently as word of its memorial message spreads.
Proudly, the Wall has traveled thousands of miles since that inaugural mission in February. Gold Star Families have stood before the Wall, sharing memories and a bond that only they can know, and grateful citizens in huge numbers have studied the faces of Illinois’ fallen warriors while reflecting on their sacrifice with reverence. Those are moments in time that simply can’t be articulated, and we believe that they must be repeated one person and one community at a time.
Please visit the Traveling Memorial Wall’s website located here for more information. In addition to appearing on the website event calendar, Traveling Memorial Wall missions are posted on the IL PGR Calendar and announced via statewide email. If you are interested in volunteering to help out at one of those events, please follow the contact instructions contained in the statewide email.