Community dedicates Tyler Iubelt Memorial Highway - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Community dedicates Tyler Iubelt Memorial Highway

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PERRY CO. -- Drivers who pass through Tamaroa will now know it's the home of a fallen soldier.

Dozens packed the Tamaroa Community Center Thursday to dedicate a stretch of Highway 51 in honor of Private First Class Tyler Iubelt.

Iubelt was one of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan last November.

Students in his hometown made it their duty to keep his memory alive.

"It just amazes me at the amount of support that they're giving Tyler and it's wonderful," said Iubelt's mother, Charlotte Loquasto.

After learning about a hold on naming memorial highways, students in Tamaroa wrote letters to lawmakers, making the case, Tyler deserved an exception.

"Our kids were affected by Tyler's death," said Cindy Opp, Junior High School Language Arts Teacher. "They considered him one of their own whether they met him or not, he was part of our Tamaroa community."
    
The letter campaign worked. Thursday morning, transportation crews put up the signs marking the memorial highway in Tamaroa.

Opp said, "Whether they stay and live here in Tamaroa and they see it everyday, they see those signs when they ride the bus or when they come to and from school they know they made a difference."

It's a difference, Tyler's family says they and everyone who comes through this town, will never forget.

"One voice may not be able to accomplish much but a group of voices accomplished an event that's going to be here for eternity," said Loquasto. "It blows my mind, but I'm very grateful for it."

The stretch of Highway 51 dedicated to Iubelt runs from Kimzie Blacktop on the south end to Shamrock Road.

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