General Assembly OK’s resolution to rename section of Route 59 for fallen Plainfield soldier

Private First Class Andrew Meari was killed in action by a suicide bomber on Nov. 1, 2010, while he was on active patrol in Afghanistan

The Illinois General Assembly passed a resolution to designate a part of Route 59 after a soldier from Plainfield who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010.

The Senate passed the resolution last week to rename the section of Route 59 between Caton Farm Road and Route 126 as the “PFC Andrew Meari Memorial Highway,” according to a news release. The House of Representatives did the same last month.

Meari, 21, was on patrol when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle approached his group. When he saw the threat, Meari stepped toward the bomber and absorbed the majority of the explosion, protecting his squad mates. The bomb killed one other member of his team.

State Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel, D-Shorewood, introduced the bill in the Senate and State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, introduced it in the House.

“Private First Class Andrew Meari led a service driven life worthy of commemoration,” Loughran Cappel said in a statement. “His contribution to our community and sacrifice for the country should never be forgotten.”

Batinick said in a statement when the bill was in the House, “It was a privilege to recognize the life of Private First Class Andrew Meari, an incredible young man who selflessly gave his life in an act of heroism.”

Throughout his military career, Meari earned several accolades including the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Medal.

He is also commemorated in his hometown of Plainfield with the PFC Andrew Meari Memorial Park.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.