Veterans' names being added to Vermilion County memorial
DANVILLE — As an Illinois State Police officer, Rob Kotcher has been in the Vermilion County Courthouse many times but didn't notice until earlier this year that his grandfather's name was not listed on the plaque naming all the war veterans in the county.
"I didn't see his name," said Kotcher, whose grandfather, Herbert Nelson Lambert, a Vermilion County native, served in the Army during World War II, mostly in the Philippines.
Kotcher was told to notify Vermilion County officials of the omission, and they added his grandfather's name to a list of others whose names inadvertently had been left off the large plaque on the first floor of the courthouse.
Vermilion County Board officials and a volunteer, veteran Romeo Zamberletti, did the paperwork and necessary documentation verification and research, and have arranged for 16 veterans' names to be added Monday to the plaque before Veterans Day on Sunday.
Kotcher, who was notified recently that the names would be added Monday morning, said he's very proud it's getting done, because these veterans deserve to be honored, including his grandfather. His mother, Peggy Kotcher, was also thrilled to hear her father's name would be added. She said her mother, Roberta Lambert, 90, is also thrilled but her health will not allow her to be there Monday morning to watch her husband's name be added to the list.
But Peggy Kotcher said she will attend.
Kotcher said her father and mother married just before her father went overseas. He became a master sergeant and when he returned from the war, he moved the family east of Georgetown and became a dairy and grain farmer and raised his family.
Zamberletti said the county employees did all the work to verify the military records of the names, and he researched and verified in what eras they served. He said it was an honor to help in the process to recognize veterans in the county.
Most of the 16 names were left off altogether, said Terrie Sherer, administrative assistant at the county board office, but a couple names were originally misspelled and are being corrected on Monday. She said Danville Paper and Supply Company made the name plates that will be added Monday morning, and the business didn't charge for the materials.
Veterans Honor Roll
The following names will be added to the veteran honor roll at the Vermilion County Courthouse in Danville.
World War II
Bernard D. Bennett
Fred Eugene Cosat, Sr.
Benjamin F. Gardner
Frank B. Holecz
Harold E. Howard
Herbert N. Lambert
George M. Lucas, Sr.
Harry H. Shank
Robert Carl Dickelman
Robert Thomas Gardner
Harvey William Miller, Jr.
Edmund Robert Rudnicke II
Garry D. VanCamp
Richard A. Walblay
Rodney Robert Witsman
Names to be corrected for spelling:
Gary N. Mockbee
Ronald D. Mockbee