Earlier this year Effingham County residents Bonnie Mellendorf and Arnetia Orborn began working to raise funds for a memorial honoring the first responders of Effingham County. On Wednesday their goal was reached with the dedication of the memorial. The Heroes Memorial can be found in downtown Effingham on the lawn of the old Effingham County Courthouse. The memorial stands along side the Woman’s Relief Corp Auxiliary of Yates Post No. 88 memorial, and the Illinois State Police District 12 End of Watch memorial.
Along with the first responders, the memorial was created to honor local military personnel of the past, present, and future.
A large crowd attended the dedication, including a number of students from the area. City Administrator Jim Arndt served as the M.C. of the event. He introduced Bonnie Mellendorf and Arnetia Osborn to the audience. Mellendorf and Osborn spoke about their desire to honor the men and women who make so many sacrifices to keep the community safe. Other speakers included Mayor Jeff Bloemker, County Board Chairman Jim Niemann, Sheriff Dave Mahon, ISP Commander Kelly Hodge, and Fire Chief Joseph Holomy. Dave Price sang the National Anthem, and Pastor Stephen Gillet gave the invocation.