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updated: 4/4/2017 10:19 PM

Wauconda voters want Iraq, Afghanistan vets honored at Sept. 11 memorial

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  • The Heroes of Freedom Memorial in Wauconda, which features a large beam from the World Trade Center, also should include storyboards honoring those who fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, village voters said in an advisory referendum Tuesday.

      The Heroes of Freedom Memorial in Wauconda, which features a large beam from the World Trade Center, also should include storyboards honoring those who fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, village voters said in an advisory referendum Tuesday.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

Wauconda voters want the village's Heroes of Freedom Memorial to include storyboards about the global war on terrorism and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With all precincts counted, unofficial results showed 955 votes in favor of including military references at the monument and 404 votes against the proposal. The totals do not include mail or provisional ballots.

Because it's only an advisory referendum, the results are not binding.

The question was promoted by Mayor Frank Bart and several political allies, including mayoral candidate Bryan Anderson and members of Anderson's One Wauconda slate.

The memorial was dedicated Sept. 11, 2015, at the southwest corner of Route 176 and Main Street. It includes a wall featuring the names of the people killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as a large beam from the World Trade Center wreckage.

The site is owned by the village, but a civilian committee working with village hall led the project.

Some people, including members of the village board, have said the memorial should focus on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Others believe it should pay significant homage to the troops who fought in subsequent wars.

Storyboards mentioning those conflicts were at the memorial when it was dedicated but removed shortly afterward because the text hadn't been approved by trustees as required. They never were replaced, nor did the committee finalize proposed text for the displays.

Trustee Linda Starkey and Mayor-elect Lincoln Knight -- the village board's liaisons to the Heroes of Freedom committee -- said talks about the storyboards inexplicably broke down last year. Emails sent to members of the committee weren't returned, Knight said.

Trustee Tim Howe opposed turning it into a military monument. That belongs at Wauconda's veterans memorial, which is on park district-owned land next to the Heroes of Freedom site, he said.

Starkey called the referendum a "manufactured controversy." She could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

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