Mattoon Man Creates Memorial To Illinois Servicemembers


Published on May 26 2013 7:24 am
Written by Wayne Moran

An artist from Matoon is being hailed for a unique memorial, "Portrait of a Soldier" that pays tribute to Illinois servicemembers who have died since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Cameron Schilling, a 24 year-old former political sciences major at EIU, has hand-drawn portraits of most of the 306 Illinois military men and women who have died in the nearly 12 years since the 9-11 attacks. Governor Pat Quinn helped unveil the memorial yesterday at the Des Plaines oasis on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

Schilling hails from Mattoon, and drew the first portrait in August of 2004, after Army Spc. Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, was killed in Iraq. He later decided to draw portraits of as many soldiers as he could since the attacks on 9/11.

The exhibit is slated to tour various oases on the tollway through July 4th. More information about the memorial and it's display schedule can be found here.