Seatonville family sent 8 sons into military service
For a brief time Thursday morning, the population of Seatonville was likely doubled. A large crowd had gathered inside the Seatonville Fire Department to honor the extensive military service of one of the village’s original families.
The eight sons of the Galetti family all served in their country’s military. To honor that service, a memorial highway dedication ceremony was held to name a stretch of Route 6, from Hollowayville to the Route 89 junction in Spring Valley, in their honor.
The honor was a result of the passage of House Resolution 61, which was sponsored by both state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, and state Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa.
The brothers, Michael, Joseph, John, Lawrence, George, James, Jess and Dennis, served between 1941 and 1969. The late John Galetti served in the Army from 1941 to 1944, and the late Michael and Joseph Galetti both served in the Army Air Force from 1942 to 1946.
Lawrence Galetti served in the Navy from 1944 to 1946, George Galetti served in the Air Force from 1948 to 1952, James Galetti served in the Army from 1958 to 1960, Jess Galetti served in the Marine Corps from 1953 to 1955, and Dennis Galetti served in the Army from 1967 to 1969.
“This is an unbelievable day for our family, and it’s such an honor for these guys. I can’t tell you how much this means to them and the rest of our family,” Bob Galetti, son of Jim, said.
Many other family members were also in attendance, and most were wearing commemorative T-shirts that had been designed in the brothers’ honor.
Both Rezin and Yednock spoke of the brothers’ dedication to their country and thanked them for their service. An invocation was performed by Chaplain Anthony Pavinato, the colors were presented by the Ladd American Legion and the national anthem was beautifully sung by Taryn Trevier. Boy Scout Troop 1055 from Cherry, Girl Scout Troop 1091 from Spring Valley and Cub Scout Pack 3133, also from Spring Valley, led the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Director of Veterans’ Affairs Linda Chapa LaVia spoke of the importance of honoring such military service and reminded those in attendance it is service such as that rendered by the Galetti brothers that makes the country possible.
Members of the family then told some favorite stories, and also shared how the Galettis came to Seatonville in its earliest days.
Following the presentation of the honorary signs to the family, a benediction was performed by Pavinato. Family, friends and many others then enjoyed a social hour with food and drinks while congratulating the five surviving Galetti brothers.
This memorial event was the third such ceremony held in recent years in the Illinois Valley. Other families with multiple sons serving in the military include the seven Witczak brothers, who were honored with a stretch of Route 251 named in their honor, and the six Kaszynski brothers of Peru, who had a different stretch of Route 6 dedicated in their honor.