The Apache County Veteran’s Memorial Bronze Statue Scheduled to be on display in Round Lake Beach on June 20th.
St. Johns, Arizona Cpl. Joseph McCarthy, USMC lived in Round Lake Beach as a child, from 1986 to 1996. His family lived on Barberry Lane, the McCarthy’s first home. The McCarthy family moved to Arizona to help his grandmother in Concho, AZ. He was committed to join the Marines, and made that move in 2001 after graduating from St. Johns High School in St. Johns, AZ. Shockingly, Joe’s entry was delayed by the terrorist attacks of September 11th as he was scheduled to fly out to boot camp. When he did get to Marine boot camp, his class was the first to graduate after the attack. Joe deployed to Iraq with his fellow Marines and entered the country on March 21, 2003, his 20th birthday. He married his high school sweetheart, Amanda Salazar in September, 2003 and was re-deployed in March of 2004.
On Easter Sunday, an embedded reporter photographed Joe giving candy out to Iraqi children at a roadside checkpoint. Joe was doing what he always did, and his fellow Marines referred to him as ‘Willy Wonka’. The photograph had an impact, as it was seen in newspapers across the nation and around the world. Later that same year , the photograph ran again, this time, because Joe had been killed on September 6,2004 along with 6 fellow Marines when their convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber.
The Corporal Joe McCarthy Foundation was created in the spirit of Joe McCarthy. The McCarthy family continues to enhance the lives of others through selfless love and compassion, just like Joe did. There are two focuses for the charitable activities of the Foundation. First, and foremost, is to enhance the lives of children. From backpacks loaded with school supplies, to fun and games at the annual Spring Fling in St. Johns, the McCarthy family and friends continuously give back to the children of the community.
The second project they have taken on is the creation of the Apache County Veteran’s Memorial in St. Johns. The centerpiece of the memorial is the bronze statue of Joe giving candy to the Iraqi children on that Easter Sunday in 2004. The Cpl. Joseph McCarthy Foundation is proud to announce the completion of the bronze statue. Cpl. McCarthy’s family will be driving from Arizona to pick up the bronze statues from the foundry located in Maryland this month and will be driving him home.
The family will stop in Round Lake Beach on Wednesday, June 20th, so that Illinois friends and family of Joe will be able to see the completed bronze likeness of the boy they loved. The statue will be on display at the Round Lake Beach Veteran’s Park on Cedar Lake Road and Clarendon from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Follow Cpl. Joe on Facebook as he returns home at www.facebook.com/cpljoes.
It is the family’s greatest wish that our country will never forget the many who have sacrificed so much for our country.
(Thank you to RLB Trustee Judi Armstrong for forwarding this information to me)
This video was taken during the stop-over at Round Lake on Wednesday.
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