Section Of U.S. 51 Rechristened In Honor Of Iubelt

Section Of U.S. 51 Rechristened In Honor Of Iubelt

By Alex Haglund

“The price of freedom is not free,” said Charlotte Loquasto, mother of PFC Tyler Iubelt, of Tamaroa, who was killed at the age of 20 in Afghanistan one November 12, 2016.
Loquasto was speaking at a ceremony at the Tamaroa Community Center on Thursday, October 12, when a section of US Highway 51 heading into Tamaroa was renamed “PFC Tyler Iubelt Memorial Highway”.

ABOVE, Charlotte Loquasto, the mother of U.S. Army Soldier PFC Tyler Iubelt, slain in Afghanistan in 2016, speaks at a dedication ceremony held at the Tamaroa Community Center on Thursday, October 12. BELOW, Iubelt’s uniform on display at the ceremony.

“I did not realize how many people were affected by Tyler enlisting,” Loquasto said, speaking to a gymnasium packed with people honoring Iubelt’s memory. “It isn’t just that one person, that one commitment.”

 

Loquasto described all of the people who were linked together by the actions and service done by a serviceman or woman. A chain with many, many links, even when it doesn’t have the tragedy attached to it as in Iubelt’s case.

Driving the renaming and memorial for Iubelt was actually the efforts of children.

While state legislators made the action to rename the highway – present at the ceremony were State Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) and State Representatives Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and Jerry Costello II (D-Red Bud – it was the letters that they received from area students that brought the matter to their attention.

“It literally took those letters from students at Tamaroa Grade School and St. Ann’s to make this possible,” Loquasto said.

The students from both schools were present at the ceremony and Loquasto spoke directly to them before finishing and unveiling the sign.

Students from St. Ann School were present at the dedication of a section of U.S. Highway 51 in honor of PFC Tyler Iubelt. Students from both St. Ann School and Tamaroa Grade School wrote letters to state level legislators and helped to get the highway renamed.

“I hope you look at those signs and are proud of yourselves,” Loquasto told the students.