Two fallen law enforcement officers noted as former Annawan High School graduates will continue to be remembered when the Illinois Route 78 overpass at Interstate 80 was officially designated in the new name of “Deputy Adam Streicher and Trooper Chad Wolf Memorial Overpass” on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Two fallen law enforcement officers noted as former Annawan High School graduates will continue to be remembered when the Illinois Route 78 overpass at Interstate 80 was officially designated in the new name of “Deputy Adam Streicher and Trooper Chad Wolf Memorial Overpass” on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

It was standing room only for the estimated 150 audience members present at the dedication ceremony held at the Annawan Community Center.

Family, friends, state and local leaders, and several law enforcement agencies from both Illinois and Michigan personally attended the ceremony in honor of the late Stark County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Streicher and the late Michigan State Trooper Chad Wolf.

Streicher died in the line of duty on March 22, 2002, in Toulon after being fatally shot while attempting to serve a warrant.

Trooper Chad Wolf, age 38, died on August 28, 2015, after suffering fatal injuries while on patrol in a motorcycle accident.

State Senator Chuck Weaver, of Peoria, and State Representative Daniel Swanson, of Alpha, were among the list of guest speakers at the event.

Both local politicians sponsored the proposed bill and were instrumental in getting the legislation finally approved and passed late last year.

Weaver addressed the audience with his own personal meaning of what memorials on behalf of the two officers and the dedications represented. He remarked on the numerous articles he had read speaking on the lives of the two men and what they both represented within their communities.

Weaver shared a quote he had read from Trooper Wolf’s widow Erin Wolf.

“One thing I have learned is that God will take the hurt, and pain, and ugliness of this world and turn it into something beautiful because God never wastes anything.“

Then she added, “I hope I can live long enough to really understand all that should go with this,” said Weaver.

The senator commented that he hoped the memorial dedication would somehow help to put some closure to both the tragic situations and be more representative of the deep impact and legacy that both officers had left within their communities.

Former Annawan school staff, including Principal Rodney Miller and teacher Sheila Cromien, spoke to the audience and shared stories about both the younger Streicher and Wolf as students growing up in the local school system.

“I am so proud of these young men. We have had at least 30 students graduate from Annawan and pursue law enforcement. I have asked myself why in such a small community have we had so many students go into law enforcement,” said Miller.

In addition to Streicher and Wolf, a third former Annawan High School graduate was noted including the late Illinois State Sergeant Stanley Talbot, who was also killed in the line of duty in Rock Island in 2001.

“There is no doubt in my mind it has to do with the student’s family, the community and the school. In our little school it was run with the concept of a one room schoolhouse.

The world is a little less kind and compassionate with the loss of these three young men,” said Miller.

Miller and Cromien both shared fond memories of the officers and their involvement in their school serving as role models to the younger students.

“They were doing what they felt was so important, I have been so, so sad but so, so proud,” said Cromien.

“With these new signs, so many people will have the opportunity to see and read their names and remember the sacrifices of our Annawan heroes,” she concluded.

Parents Al and Laurie Streicher, of Kewanee, and Lyle and Karen Wolf, of Hoopole, also spoke on behalf of their late sons, their careers and their commitments on behalf of the law enforcement communities.

“Let the sign serve as a small remembrance, and may their names never be forgotten,” said Pastor Terry Lancaster, in a closing remark.