Rep. Rosenthal Legislation to Memorialize Decorated Riverton Marine Passes House

Photo credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

Yesterday, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed House Joint Resolution 4, filed by State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville). The resolution seeks to designate the IL Route 54 Bridge crossing the Sangamon River near Riverton as the “PFC Daniel Lee Kick Memorial Bridge” in honor of Kick’s service and sacrifice while serving his country and his fellow Marines in South Vietnam.

Photo credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

When the legislation was filed earlier this year, Rosenthal said, “The motto of the United States Marine Corps is Semper Fidelis, meaning always faithful. It represents the commitment of Marines to both our country and their fellow Marines. Private First Class Daniel Kick’s actions during the Tet Offensive in 1968 embodied the commitment of Semper Fidelis and undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his fellow Marines. Designating a bridge in his memory is a small act in comparison to his sacrifice, but it allows us to express our gratitude to his family and the community of Riverton for the sacrifice he made for our country.”

Daniel Lee Kick was born in 1948 and raised in Riverton, where he attended grade school and high school. After high school, Kick enlisted in the Marines and was deployed to South Vietnam with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. During the intense fighting of the Tet Offensive in 1968, Kick risked his life performing medevac and resupply missions while being subjected to enemy fire. As Rosenthal noted, Kick’s actions undoubtedly saved many of his fellow Marines.

During a medevac run on the evening of February 16, 1968, Kick’s vehicle was ambushed and he suffered mortal wounds. For his heroism, Kick was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, as well as the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm from the South Vietnam Government, among other commendations.

“I want to thank my House colleagues for passing this resolution unanimously, and I hope it receives the same strong support in the Senate,” said Rosenthal.

Upon passage by the Senate, the Illinois Department of Transportation will be directed to erect signs to properly designate the IL Route 54 Bridge in Kick’s memory. For video of Rosenthal presenting HJR 4 on the House floor, click here.

Rep. Rosenthal is a retired Brigadier General who served in the Illinois Air National Guard and the United States Air Force. For the complete text of the legislation, click here.