EAST DUBUQUE, Illinois - The community of East Dubuque will honor a teenage girl, who was murdered two years ago, with a memorial bench. The East Dubuque Community is invited to remember Chyenne Kircher during a dedication ceremony for the bench at 2 p.m. Tuesday. The ceremony will be held at East Dubuque High School.
Reality is setting in for teachers and students at East Dubuque High School. Despite their hopes that Kircher would one day return to school, they now know she never will. That's why a couple of local business owners want to keep her memory alive.
When East Dubuque business owners Greg Freiburger and Bill Hoefler first learned of Kircher's death, like so many others, they felt helpless. The shocking revelation, the horrid details, the emotional goodbyes. Details people here may one day forget.
"It hits you deep inside, especially when it hits this close to home," Bill Hoefler of Custom Auto Repair and Service said.
But because of this new bench, they hope no one forgets the memory of a vivacious young girl.
"For decades to come people will see it and it will be a story that gets brought up and people will say,'Hey, what's the story with that girl?'" Greg Freiburger of Expert Lawn said.
Still Chyenne's life was more than a story for the people she went to school with.
Classmate Alexis Pflieer said, "It didn't matter what anyone ever did to her, she always smiled no matter what."
As her friend's reflect on who Chyenne was, Freiburger and Hoefler say the reaction is what this donation is all about. They say It just feels good, to do something.
Hoefler adds, "Hopefully the next time some little kid from East Dubuque comes up missing, whether it be a boy or a girl, we all look. And, we all stick together as a tight community and we don't let this happen again."