"Flag Man" honored on Flag Day

By WEEK Producer

June 14, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 12:58 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- All across the U.S., Americans are celebrating Flag Day but here in Illinois, the day has a new special meaning.

Thursday, in Peoria, Governor Pat Quinn declared June 14, 'Larry "The Flag Man" Eckhardt Day'.

Larry Eckhardt began lining the funeral routes of fallen Illinois service members with flags back in 2006 and has been doing it since on his own dime with the help of volunteers.

So far, "The Flag Man" has visited over 50 funerals across the state, but Larry said he couldn't have done it on his own.

"My volunteers are the important ones," said Eckhardt. "During the past 6 years I've worked with well over 10,000 people and like the Governor said everything from 86 to 90 year old people down to 4 and 5-year-old kids. There is no way I could have done this by myself."

Governor Quinn said all Illinois residents should see "The Flag Man" as an inspiration on how to honor our veterans.

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