Restoring a damaged World War I memorial in East St. Louis

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Across the nation on this Memorial Day weekend, ceremonies will be held to remember and honor those who died while serving our country. In East St. Louis, plans are underway to restore a historic World War I memorial built in 1942 that has been damaged quite a bit over the years.

East St. Louis leaders said cars continue to crash into the monument. In one incident, a car slammed into and knocked the entire top portion of the monument off the pedestal. The group wants to make sure that fallen service members are never forgotten.

It's been 100 years since the United States entered World War I, but the East St Louis American Legion Post 2505 and community leaders are planning to rebuild the memorial.

"Looks like three different times now. Automobiles have ran into it, leaving it beyond repair,” said William Mixon.

Historic photos show what the site should look like. The location honors those from East St. Louis who lost their lives in World War I, the Spanish America War, the American Civil War, and the American Revolution.

"It's very important. Our service members risk their lives every day for us, so we must continue the memory of those who severed," said Irma Golliday, East St. Louis Parks District.

At present, the damaged memorial sits on three boulevards near 25th and Lynch. The group will get rid of the damaged statue and replicate it in the same version. It will then be moved it to Jones Historic Park in East St. Louis.

Organizers said the memorial itself is expected to cost $35,000 to repair it. The group is counting on donations from the public or sponsorships to help restore it.

The American Legion Post 2505 of East St Louis will hold the kickoff for the fundraiser on Memorial Day at East St. Louis City Hall at 11 a.m. The event is open to the public.