The mothers of Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan Bastean and U.S. Army Sgt. Dean Shaffer walked into the dedication ceremony honoring their sons, Who both died serving in Afghanistan.
"My family's always been there. They've been a great support system even though it's hard for them too. And we're trying to band together for the one year and trying to get through that. So it's getting a little difficult as it gets closer," said Jordan Basean's mother, Kathy.
The AMVET riders from Pekin dedicated one tree to each soldier in Pekin's Mineral Springs park to serve as a living memorial. Jordan Bastean's mother said she likes that they'll be able to watch the tree grow. She watched her family hang stars on her son's tree.
"I made those for the cousins to put on the tree, so they would know which tree was Jordan's so they'll always know," Kathy Bastean said.
Pekin's AMVET Chapter President Bob Dant handed out patches, which had the names of the two soldiers and the two trees planted in their honor.
"There's several sayings in the veterans circle. No one left behind, or never forget. And this is a patch we have in honor of these two boys," Dant said.
A new monument is also honoring the fallen soldiers, a granite stone with their names engraved at the top.
"It's important to welcome home your veterans, support your veteran. As we say, support the warrior. If you don't support the war, that's fine, but you have to support the warrior," Dant said.
These new additions to the park accompany an already standing memorial with the names of Pekin residents who served in Vietnam.