Photo Friday: Rangers Lead the Way

In 2008, Peoria’s airport was renamed General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport. When I dropped my wife off for a trip to visit her folks, I decided to stop and find out who General Downing was.

Rangers Lead the Way

The Downing memorial statue outside the airport

Born in Peoria, Wayne A. Downing was a career Army officer who served in Vietnam and the Gulf War, and he held various roles in the modern war on terror prior to his death in 2007.

I’ve adopted Peoria as my home over the last few years, and I’ve come to enjoy learning more and more about its history and personalities. For example, Theodore Roosevelt once proclaimed Grandview Drive the most beautiful drive in the United States. Peoria also was once the whiskey capital of the US. Today, Peoria is the world headquarters for Caterpillar, even though the Illinois government is doing its best to screw that up.

How many of you live in a small town or city? Or have moved to a new home far from where you grew up? How much do you know about it? When you have a quiet day, get out there and learn something. Maybe your quiet, boring little town will surprise you.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

One comment

  1. PEORIA says:

    * CORRECTION * : During his first visit to the city,Teddy Roosevelt is alleged to have said of Peoria’s Grandview Drive …. ” THIS must be the world’s most beautiful drive. ” The acronym ‘ WMBD ‘, derived from this legendary quote, became the call letters for the local CBS-affiliate.