A Memorial in Sherrard - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

A Memorial in Sherrard


It was six months ago when a fire in Sherrad, Illinois took the lives of 5 people - including four children who were having a sleepover.

It broke out in the early morning hours of March 27th.

Anna Viager, her daughter Breana and three other girls, Cassi Turner and Holli and Jessica Harker died in the fire from smoke inhalation.

Father - Wayne Viager and his two sons were able top escape.

Since then. the community has come together to rebuild the home for the three survivors and to raise funds for the other families.

And today - neighbors came together again for another part in the healing process - a memorial to remember the victims forever.

It's a small memorial.

Just two benches, seven plants and a plaques with the names of the deceased.

But I was told that's exactly what the would have wanted - a simple place for people to come grieve, remember and pray.

And while today was held in honor of who died - it also offered another chance for the community to gather and heal.

"They would want us to move forward," says Rebecca Heick, a family friend of the Viager's. "And we can do that here. We do it everyday but this is just one more place."

On Sunday - the community gathered at Cable Community Church - where three of the victims came every week.

But this week - people weren't just worshipping... They were remembering.

"I think anytime we can come out for one another and show support for each other, that healing process takes place," says Pastor Clint Ziemer.

The plaque, benches and flowers all came from community donations.

And Pastor Ziemer wants people to know this memorial isn't just for people who knew the victims.

But for anyone who needs a place to reflect and remember what's important in life.

"You can still pray. It's not exclusive for these victims," Ziemer explains. "It's in their memory and you can pray about whatever is on your heart and whatever is troubling you."

But on this day - at this church - people are still grieving.

And still wanting to help the families who lost loved ones.

"It helps bring the community together to see the families so we can further serve them," says Donna Gresch. "See what their needs are and keep in mind their tragedy."

And through tears, Heick explained the comfort of what the memorial means to her.

"Just knowing that as much as this loss hurts, we have hope. Because we will see them in heaven."


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