Homer Glen hopes for big turnout for fallen soldier
BY Michelle Mulins Correspondent June 14, 2011 10:12PM
The Homer Glen Village Board on Tuesday night urged residents to turn out in large numbers and wave flags Thursday during the funeral procession for Army Pfc. Michael Olivieri, a resident who was killed last week in Iraq.
Trustees and Mayor Jim Daley held a moment of silence at the village board meeting and thanked Olivieri, 26, for his service. They offered their condolences to his family and said plans are under way to create a lasting memorial for him and other local heroes in the village.
“The service that he provided to this country is immeasurable,” Trustee Tedd Kagianas said. “His footprints on this earth are everlasting. May his life be eternal and his memory live on.”
Trustee Mary Niemiec said the village board’s community and economic development committee is brainstorming ideas to create a permanent honor or memorial for Olivieri and other local soldiers.
One option is to dedicate the first leg of the trail system that’s under construction to the “Homer Glen heroes,” Niemiec said. A 5K run has been discussed to raise money for charity on Veterans Day, she said.
The village is gathering about 6,000 American flags to distribute to those who wish to observe Olivieri’s funeral procession, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday from Modell Funeral Home, 12641 W. 143rd St.
Residents can pick up flags at the village hall, the Homer Township Library, Dominick’s, Animal Care Clinic, Menards and Blueberry Hill restaurant.
They are being asked to line Bell Road between 143rd and 159th streets and 159th Street from Bell to Gougar roads.
Olivieri was among five soldiers who were killed June 6 in Baghdad when insurgents attacked their base. He will be buried at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
“He has given his all as so many other soldiers have,” Trustee Margaret Sabo said. “All we can do is pray no more deaths occur.”