Photo by Sabrina Cunningham
Mention “Band of Brothers” and most think of the television World War II miniseries featuring the men who shared a common love, trust and dependence.
The Alton High Hockey Club has created its own “Band of Brothers” and they joined together to fundraise and finance a new granite stone bench in memory of Jordan Klope, who died in a car accident on Dec. 23, 2012. The stone was unveiled at a ceremony in front of Alton High School.
Engraved on the bench are Jordan’s name and the hockey club emblem.
“The bench is just wonderful,” said Jordan’s father, Chris Klope. “One of the most important things on this is the words “Band of Brothers.” These young men played together as if they were brothers. Jordan played for the camaraderie he enjoyed with his teammates on and off the ice.”
L. Allen Klope, Jordan’s grandfather, said the hockey team has been incredibly supportive of his family after the fatal accident. Jordan died in a crash after a hunting outing in Pittsfield.
“The whole team was at the visitation and at the funeral and some were pallbearers,” he said. “We can’t thank them enough. The hockey team put together a memorial golf tournament. They raised $13,000 to go for scholarships for kids who wanted to be on the hockey team and couldn’t afford the fees.”
Chris Klope said he couldn’t fully put into words how much the Alton High Hockey Club has meant to his family since the night of the accident.
“It has been quite a blessing,” he said. “The strength and emotional character these young men demonstrated is incredible.”
Sherri Henson, a spokesperson for the hockey team, said the Alton High Hockey Club boys did adopt the motto “Band of Brothers.”
“They have come together to talk about him and remember him. The money for the bench came from donations when Jordan passed.”
Near the anniversary of his death, the Alton High Hockey Club had a “Camouflage Night” with all the youth and people in the stands wearing Camo instead of red, Alton’s home color.
“With their play, they kept Jordan’s spirit alive on ice through the season,” L. Allen Klope said.