Byron dedicates fallen soldier memorial

The City of Byron dedicated a fallen soldier memorial to honor native son Marine Lance Corporal Andrew Grant Patten at 2 p.m., Monday, Sept. 11, at the Byron Cemetery. “This young man’s sacrifice is an example of dedication to the service of this country,” said Mayor R. Scot Nason. “This memorial will serve as a reminder to Andy’s ideal of ‘service over self.’ Andy was a giving member of our community, and we are better for having known him.”

Andrew Patten was born June 1, 1986, and graduated from Byron High School in 2004. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Aug. 6, 2004, graduating from Basic Training Oct. 29, 2004. Corporal Patten was killed in Fallujah, Iraq, Dec. 1, 2005, and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

The memorial was made possible through donations of time, talent and money. The Byron Cemetery Association designated the site; the City of Byron dug the foundation and purchased the plaque and capstone. Members of Bricklayers and Affiliated Craft Workers Local No. 6 donated the material, constructed the pedestal, and attached the plaque and sculpture. Exelon Byron Nuclear Generating Station donated the funds to purchase the bronze casting. Corporal Patten’s parents, Gayle Naschansky and Al Patten, approached the City of Byron about a memorial in January. Mayor Nason led the efforts to find a suitable place and funding for the memorial.

Speakers at the dedication were Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, State Rep. Jim Sacia, Mayor R. Scot Nason, Pastor Larry Segren, Marine Lt. Col. Darrin Denny, and Andy’s sister Allison Patten.

From the Sept. 13-19, 2006, issue

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