Artwork honors our fallen heroes

Artwork honors our fallen heroes
By: Arnold Wyrick
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Their smiles and glowing faces reach out to you as you stroll among the 160 soldiers from Illinois who have lost their lives on the battlefield.  Now a display of the fallen heroes can be seen on the campus at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
The display is titled "Portraits of a Soldier" and each one was hand drawn by Cameron Schilling, an artist in Matoon, Illinois.
Schilling drew the first sketch back in 2005 after a soldier in his hometown lost his life in Iraq.  Shortly after seeing the artists work, Illinois' Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn commissioned Schilling to draw all of the men and women to date who have died in combat.
"This memorial is a moving tribute to the men and women who have given their last full measure of devotion to our democracy," Quinn said.

With many of their family members on hand for the unveiling of the portraits, some of the mother's took a moment to exchange hugs and stories, to comfort one another. "I'm just amazed everyday to see that smile.  He did such a wonderful job capturing Kyle's personality.  I'm really glad that they're here on display for people to realize the great sacrifice that's given," says Lance Corporal Kyle Price's mother Cheryl.

The display of the fallen soldiers will be on the SIU campus through Sunday evening.  They can be seen on the second floor of the SIU student center in the International Lounge.