WENTZVILLE, Mo. – The Wentzville community is working on multiple efforts to make sure fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz’s name is never forgotten.
During Wednesday night’s board of alderman meeting, city leaders presented ideas and preliminary plans for a Veterans Memorial Plaza outside of the new recreation complex in Wentzville.
Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione said a memorial to honor 9/11 victims was already in talks, but with the passing of Schmitz, the memorial is going to be expanded.
It will now honor 9/11 victims’ fallen first responders and service members.
“I think this is something the community can embrace,” the mayor added.
He said the plans and exact layouts are still in the works and are still awaiting approval. He said there are multiple ideas about how to honor Schmitz within the memorial.
“There’s several different options, one with an arm coming out of the ground with his dog tags,” he said.
The mayor said he plans to present the Schmitz family with a proclamation to declare a day in January as Jared Schmitz Day.
The proclamation is expected to be presented to the family at the next board meeting, set for Sept. 22. He said the day in January that Schmitz was sworn in to serve in the Marines will likely be the day they select.
“This was a special one for me, he’s a local hero, because of him thousands of lives were saved,” he said. “It’s very significant for us and I want to make sure that day is remembered as Jared Schmitz day.”
Mayor Guccione said he is working with the family to make sure any memorial or honorary effort for Jared Schmitz is accepted by the family.
Mayor Guccione said the Schmitz family has asked to name a new overpass in Wentzville after their son because it is the overpass Jared’s younger sister will take to school every day.
“We’ve started that process, we have to get approval from MoDOT and as soon as we do, we will move forward with that as well,” he said.
There are also community-driven efforts to make sure Schmitz is always remembered.