DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)—A display will be at the Decatur Public Library to honor veterans who have been killed in action. The flag is owned by the Veterans & Athletes United. The memorial travels in the US, so people can recognize and honor those who serve. The memorial is coming from Richmond, Virginia and will be escorted by a disabled veteran. The memorial has only been on the East Coast and the Pentagon. The library says they’re excited to host it in Central Illinois.
“They give up a lot of freedoms we take for granted, and so it’s important that people remember these sacrifices and sometimes it’s their lives they sacrifice,” said Theresa Palmer of Decatur. The memorial flag will be made up of approximately 7000 dog tags and will honor those who have died since 9/11. It’s 28 feet wide by 6 feet tall and symbolizes the shape of a flag when it’s put on a fallen service members casket. 50 gold stars are on the flag to recognize Gold Star Families in all 50 states. There is a battlefield cross made from mahogany wood made by artist Alicia Dietz.
Amy Marsh served in Iraq in 2006 and was on a team with Jason Whitehouse. His name will be on the memorial. “One of my brothers on that team stepped on an IED and lost his life along with several other Marines,” said Marsh. It’s a day she says she won’t forget. “It was like losing a piece of me,” said Marsh.
Theresa Palmer’s son Logan Stephen Palmer died in 2017. He was on the U.S.S. John McCain. The ship was on its way to a Singapore port when it collided with an oil tanker. He will be remembered in a different display. She hopes people won’t forget what veterans have given for our country. “It’s important that people remember that these people were people’s children. They were fathers. They were brothers, sisters,” said Palmer. “Civilians don’t really realize the sacrifices that my brothers and sisters have gone through to keep freedom alive and well,” said Marsh. The display memorial will be at the library from April 30th to May 2nd. The Decatur Public Library and History of the Heartland will host the memorial. Macon County has three dog tags on the memorial.