State Sen. Neil Anderson is announcing a community-wide effort to feature Hero Street in Silvis on a new U.S. postage stamp. At left Senator Anderson speaks with Tanilo Sandoval, who lost two brothers from Hero Street during World War II.
While just a block and a half long, Second Street (Hero Street) in Silvis is the home of more than 100 men and women who served in the U.S. Military. There is no other street of similar size in the country that has contributed as many men and women in service to our country. Of the more than 100 men and women who served, eight were killed in action, either during World War II or the Korean War.
Joining Anderson in the announcement at the Hero Street Park on June 25 was Maria Mier Llaca, a board member from the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Community Affairs Chairperson for the League of United Latin American Citizens Council 10, Augustine Ruiz from the U.S. Postal Service, and family members of loved ones who lived on Second Street. Leaders from local veterans organizations and Latino organizations were also in attendance.
“The history of Hero Street and the families here is incredible, and the nation deserves to know the story,” Anderson said. “This street, particularly the people who called it home, exemplifies bravery, selflessness, and freedom. The sacrifice from these brave men and women from Second Street make them heroes, and we – as a nation – should honor this small street’s monumental impact to our great nation. A stamp is a simple yet effective way to make all Americans know about the significance of Hero Street, and it’s a gesture to all the families that this nation honors their loved ones.”
Anderson sponsored and passed legislation in the Illinois Senate that declared May 2018 as Hero Street Month in Illinois. He is joining the voices of several Latino leaders and veterans to now make a push for a Hero Street postage stamp.
In May, Mier Llaca wrote a letter to Megan Brennan, the Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service regarding nominating Hero Street to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp. Mier Llaca also formally submitted a request for the creation of a Hero Street stamp to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, the first step in the stamp recommendation process.
“Honoring the Hero Street veteran families – who in five years sacrificed more men into conflict than any other area – with recognition of a U. S. postage stamp would speak volumes to the 57 million Latinos and all unsung Latino heroes,” Mier Llaca said. “Although honored locally, it is time their story be known on a national scale.”
“Each year, the United States Postal Service is proud to unveil commemorative stamps that celebrate important and historical events, places, and people,” said Augustine Ruiz, Corporate Communications Manager for the U.S Postal Service in the Bay-Valley/San Francisco area. “Stamps embrace the American experience by celebrating our country’s people, culture, history, geography, and natural wonders. While the selection of a subject on a postage stamp usually follows a theme of widespread national appeal and significance, one would think that Hero Street in Silvis, IL, would not meet that criteria; however, the U.S. Army War College and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society would beg to differ. The silent voices that reverberate from the hallowed grounds of Hero Street will be heard by all Americans of Mexican Heritage, Hispanics as a whole, and all who served in our nation’s military across this country.”
“You think of so many families and so many names from Hero Street – names like Gomez, Soliz, Masias, Pompa, Munos and Sandoval – who all bravely put their country first, signing up to serve without hesitation,” Anderson said. “They believed in the call because they believed in America and what our country stands for. I thank all the heroes from Hero Street and all our veterans for their service.”
A letter campaign for the community to support Hero Street being feature on a postage stamp was also announced June 25. Hero Street support letters should be addressed to:
Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
475 E. L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, D.C. 20260-3501