Major General Jeffrey Jurasek describes Hero Street in Silvis as shaped by heartbreak and tragedy, but also a place of reverence and celebration.
Those gathered Wednesday for the re-dedication of Hero Street could feel all of those emotions. New, permanent gold stars now sit in front of each of the homes of the Hero Street 8.
Silvis city crews placed the new stars, which were made by John Deere Harvester Works employees, in front of the homes. The new stars were laser-cut and painted at Harvester Works in East Moline. The steel stars replace painted stars currently on the street.
Nine members of the Munos family from Hero Street have served in the military. PFC John Munos was killed in action in Korea in 1951. His two great-nephews attended the re-dedication.
“Every day we’re up here it’s emotional,” Daniel Munos said, adding “The families give, you know, just as much as the solider at the end of the day.”
His brother Brian served in the Navy for 20 years. As Brian stood near the family home he said, “This house represents the Munos family that migrated here from Mexico, lived in box cars and then eventually lived in this home.”
He reflected on his great-uncle’s memorial. “The gold star represents the family that gave of that warrior.”
Members of the Mexican American Veterans Association served as the color guard to present the colors, before a salute, and the sounding of taps at the ceremony.
The military tradition in this block-and-a-half Silvis neighborhood runs so deep. More than 100 military members came from the families who settled here, many who lived in box cars and worked for the Rock Island Railroad.
Many more from this neighborhood had long careers with Deere, leading to the company’s involvement in the project to create more permanent gold stars at each home.
Longtime neighborhood resident Sonny Soliz hopes more people will visit because “The men and women who wore the uniform must be remembered and honored.”
For more information about Hero Street, visit here.