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Knox College pays tribute former students, staff who died in line of duty

The 99 Lives Gold Star Memorial at the Knox College in Galesburg honors former students and staff members who died in the line of duty.

GALESBURG, Ill. — Knox College in Galesburg honored members of its community who died while fighting in the U.S. military with a new interactive display on campus, according to a release from the college.

The new exhibit, called the 99 Lives Gold Star Memorial, is located in the lobby of Knox's Memorial Gymnasium. A dedication ceremony for the new memorial was held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Ford Center for the Fine Arts as part of the college's spring 2022 homecoming celebrations.

99 Lives features a kiosk with a digital display that uses an online database to share details about the students, alumni and faculty members who died while serving in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. 

RELATED: Thousands of American flags set up in Galesburg to honor Knox County Sheriff's Deputy Nick Weist

The database was a result of more than six years of research and development by college staff, students and alumni volunteers, with efforts led by alumnus Jamie Bjorkman of Galesburg.

As of Friday, the total number of fallen community members was 102: 18 from World War I, 65 from World War II, nine from Korea and 10 from Vietnam. 

RELATED: Report: Illinois Department of Public Health failed to identify, respond to COVID outbreak at LaSalle Veterans' Home

Alumna Wendy Scherwat Ducourneau spent over three years expanding and updating the veterans' biographies by researching military records, genealogy websites, fraternity records and high school and college yearbooks.

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