The Illinois House of Representatives recently approved a resolution to designate the IL Route 54 Bridge crossing the Sangamon River near Riverton as the “PFC Daniel Lee Kick Memorial Bridge.” The resolution was filed by State Representative Wayne Rosenthal, who believes that this is a small but fitting tribute to Kick’s service and sacrifice while serving his country and his fellow Marines in South Vietnam.
Daniel Lee Kick was born and raised in Riverton, Illinois, 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 Tet Offensive in 1968, Kick risked his life performing medevac and resupply missions while being subjected to enemy fire. His actions during the intense fighting undoubtedly saved many of his fellow Marines.
However, 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.
Representative Rosenthal filed the legislation earlier this year and praised Kick’s commitment to both the country and his fellow Marines. He noted that Semper Fidelis, the motto of the United States Marine Corps, represents the commitment of Marines to their country and each other. Designating a bridge in Kick’s memory is a small act of gratitude for his sacrifice and allows us to honor his service to our country.
Upon approval by the Senate, the Illinois Department of Transportation will be directed to erect signs to properly designate the bridge in Kick’s memory.
Representative Rosenthal is a retired Brigadier General who served in the Illinois Air National Guard and the United States Air Force. He thanked his House colleagues for passing the resolution unanimously and hopes that the same level of support will be shown in the Senate. Kick’s sacrifice and bravery will be forever remembered through the dedication of the PFC Daniel Lee Kick Memorial Bridge.