A young Ogle County man, killed while serving in Afghanistan, is honored with a stretch of highway in his name.
Lance Corporal Alec E. Catherwood Memorial Road runs from the Illinois 72 bridge in Byron to the DeKalb county line. Dozens of people came out Monday afternoon to honor the fallen solider that many in the community knew personally. The Catherwood family hopes the sign will stand as a reminder of all Alec Catherwood did for the country.
“They can die twice,” said Gretchen Catherwood, mother of the honored. “They can be killed on the battle field, and then when they’re forgotten then they’re gone forever.”
Catherwood was killed at the age of 19 in the line of duty.
“To have a permanent reminder here in this community is pretty cool,” said Catherwood. “People will be saying his name for, hopefully, generations to come.”
Dozens of people lined up with American flags in hand during the unveiling ceremony on Monday. Sen. Tim Bivins (R-45th) presented the signage to the Catherwoods.
Alongside dignitaries and police, friends and family gathered to honor and pay respects to his sacrifice.
“It’s uniquely American,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). “They honor the people who have given their lives to defend freedom and so, to see a community like Byron comes together and to see the state representatives and state senators say, ‘We want to memorialize Alec.’ It was amazing.”
Cpl. Alec E. Catherwood received many honors and medals during his time in the U.S. Marines.