PLAINFIELD – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) will honor the life of Private First Class Andrew N. Meari with the unveiling of the PFC Andrew Meari Memorial Highway this October. Rep. Batinick invites constituents to join him on Sunday, October 24th at 12:00 p.m. on the corner of Route 59 and Caton Farm Road to unveil this newly renamed highway.
“When I spoke about House Joint Resolution 11 on the House floor to rename this highway, I spoke about the difficulty in introducing a resolution for someone who grew up down the street from where you live and played at the same park as some of your kids,” said Rep. Batinick. “Private First Class Andrew Meari died in an act of heroism and it is an honor to have shared a community with such a brave individual. This renaming ceremony will recognize his life and sacrifice, further reminding us of the heroes who walk among us and leave us legacies to follow.”
Private First Class Andrew N. 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.
Rep. Batinick introduced House Joint Resolution 11 in January. In May, it was adopted in the House and taken up in the Senate by Senators Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood) and John Connor (D-Lockport). It was adopted in the Senate in June. The PFC Andrew Meari Memorial Highway will be designated on Illinois Route 59 from Caton Farm Road to Illinois Route 126.
Individuals with questions about this ceremony can call (815) 254-0000.