SPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday, a resolution introduced by State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) was adopted in the Illinois House.
HJR11, a joint resolution to honor Private First Class Andrew Meari, was adopted with 116 “Yes” votes, 0 “No” votes, and 0 “Present” votes. This joint resolution would rename a portion of Illinois Route 59 from Caton Farm Road to Illinois Route 126 the “PFC Andrew Meari Memorial Highway.”
“This resolution was difficult to introduce, knowing it honors a fallen soldier who grew up near to where I lived,” said Rep. Batinick. “PFC Andrew Meari selflessly gave his life in an act of heroism. This resolution will honor his memory by naming a part of Illinois Route 59 after him, a part that travels through his hometown of Plainfield. It was a privilege to recognize the life of this incredible young man on the floor of the Illinois House. I look forward to seeing this resolution take effect and further recognize his legacy in the place he called home.”
Private First Class Andrew Meari was assigned to service in Afghanistan as a member of the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). When he was returning from active patrol on November 1st, 2010 at a location adjacent to Combat Outpost Senjeray, a vehicle-borne suicide bomber on a motorcycle approached the foot patrol. PFC Meari stepped towards the bomber and absorbed the majority of the explosion, protecting his squad mates. PFC Andrew Meari lost his life with one other member of his squad.
HJR11 requests the Illinois Department of Transportation erect appropriate signs or a plaque giving notice of the name at suitable locations. This resolution arrived in the Senate on May 6th. The memory and service of PFC Andrew Meari is also honored in Plainfield with the PFC Andrew Meari Memorial Park.