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In rededication, donor felt Illinois WWI memorial ‘needed to be done’ 

By Steven Spearie
via the State Journal-Register newspaper (IL) web site

Phineas Gates of Divernon had seen the memorial honoring Sangamon County enlisted residents who perished in World War I from afar as it sat on First Street and North Grand Avenue at “Vose Corner.”

But Gates didn’t know until recently that his paternal great-uncle, Phineas Colliflower Gates, who served in the U.S. Navy and died of Spanish influenza 101 years ago Thursday, was listed on the memorial.

“Katie Spindell (who is on the Oak Ridge Cemetery board of managers) contacted me and asked if I was related to him,” Gates said.

After Wednesday’s formal dedication of the monument, which was recently re-located to Oak Ridge, Gates said he was “proud” to see his namesake listed on the obelisk.

“I consider it an honor,” Gates said, “that they have the monument here now with the other (war memorials).”

Earlier this month, it became public that the one-time anonymous donor who paid for the monument’s construction and installation was John Kerasotes.

Kerasotes, who is now 96, was in attendance at the rededication with his son, Denis Kerasotes.

“This is where (my father) wanted (the monument) to be all along,” Denis Kerasotes said. “I’m sure this made him very, very happy, to get, not so much the recognition for him, but recognition for who he was trying to honor, these (World War I) veterans.”

Read the entire article on the State Journal-Register web site here:

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