|An East Galesburg native whose life was lost two weeks ago Tuesday while serving his country in Afghanistan has been honored by the Galesburg City Council.
"Whereas, the Citizens of Galesburg, Illinois, mourn the death of Spc. (Christopher) Talbert, and loss to his family, friends, and community..."
Fourth Ward Alderwoman Corine Andersen read Monday night from a proclamation issued by Mayor Sal Garza, honoring Specialist Christopher Talbert, and was presented to Talbert's parents, Amanda and Terry.
Terry Talbert spoke during the ceremony, and says as an employee of the State of Illinois, he hasn't always been proud in recent years to say he's from this state, but that's changed.
"The other day, the citizenry of this state turned out to welcome my son home," Terry Talbert said. "And, I am once again proud to be a citizen of the state."
Talbert says he knows his son was aware of the hero's welcome he deserved and received. "We talked many times about being proud to be an American," Talbert said. "And I think what (Chris) saw in the City of Galesburg the other day, and I know he saw it, would make him proud to be a citizen of Galesburg."
Talbert says his son Chris was proud to be an American, too, and that he died that way.
The Talberts received a standing ovation from those in attendance at Monday night's city council meeting.
THE FULL MAYORAL PROCLAMATION:
WHEREAS, on Tuesday, July 7, 2009, Army Specialist Christopher M. Talbert, of East Galesburg, Illinois, a member of the Army National Guard, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, died in Afghanistan when an explosive device detonated near his vehicle; and
WHEREAS, this was the first deployment of Spc. Talbert who enlisted in the Guard in 2007 as a combat medic, and served with Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery located in Milan; and
WHEREAS, Spc. Chris Talbert had volunteered for deployment to Afghanistan to fight in the Worldwide War on Terror and Operation Enduring Freedom and had plans to re-enlist to deploy to Egypt next year; and
WHEREAS, Chris is remembered as having a great sense of humor and love for children; he was employed as a phlebotomist at Galesburg Cottage Hospital and was currently enrolled in Blackhawk College furthering his studies to be a paramedic; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of Galesburg, Illinois mourn the death of Spc. Talbert and loss to his family, friends, and community.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Salvador Garza, Mayor of the City of Galesburg, Illinois, do hereby commend Spc. Christopher Talbert for his courage, for the ultimate sacrifice he has made on behalf of the United States of America, and I urge the citizenry of Galesburg, Illinois to remember his noble duty and heroic effort on our behalf.
(Fourth Ward Alderwoman Corine Andersen reads the mayoral proclamation honoring Spc. Christopher Talbert Monday night, joined by Terry & Amanda Talbert, and surrounded by other aldermen.)
(Terry Talbert, center, speaks Monday night at the Galesburg City Council meeting, next to his wife Amanda. WGIL News Story and Photos by Will Stevenson.)
(Spc. Christopher Talbert. File photo courtesy Illinois Army National Guard.)