Sgt. Douglas J. Riney, Fairview, died in Kabul, Afghanistan Oct. 19, 2016.

CANTON-Sgt. Douglas J. Riney, Fairview, died in Kabul, Afghanistan Oct. 19, 2016.

His family does everything they possibly can to ensure his memory is kept alive.

Now, his father, Dave and step-mother, Kristie, are working to not only honor their son, but to honor all of the fallen soldiers from Illinois since Sept. 11, 2001.

Sunday, volunteers gathered at the Canton American Legion to help with the first phase of the project which was putting the names on the decorations.

Since 9-11 there have been 260 fallen soldiers from Illinois.

Prior to Sunday, a friend of theirs cut all of the wooden decorations shaped as folded flags.

Then, Dave and Kristie painted them blue.

Those volunteering spent Sunday painting the names of the fallen on the flags and putting stars on them.

This coming Sunday, Dec. 8, they will be having a tree lighting ceremony at Brew-N-Cue in the beer garden beginning at 4 p.m.

Grady’s Christmas Tree has donated a 10 foot tree for them to use.

Kristie Riney explained, “They do this every year in Peoria, Decatur and Bloomington; they have a Heroes’ Tree.”

Students from Canton and Valley High came to volunteer to paint the names, “I didn’t know if there was going to be two people here or 30 people here. I had no idea,” said Kristie.

Singer Joe Stamm will be at Brew-N-Cue Sunday performing his new song, “I’ll buy the Beer, in honor of the fallen soldiers.”

If attending the Tree Lighting Ceremony, enter through the north gate by CEFCU.