GALESBURG, Ill. (WMBD) — Raising flags one by one, the people of Galesburg put up stars and stripes for Deputy Nick Weist’s procession on Saturday, April 7.
Weist was hit and killed by a car on Friday, April 29, while trying to stop a man fleeing from the police.
But now, the community will see 50 stars and 13 stripes lining Fremont Street.
“This is a community project, our job is to bring a community together, to give the community the opportunity to pay honor to a fallen hero,” said President and CEO of Flagman’s Mission Continues Jeff Hastings.
Flagman’s Mission Continues is a not-for-profit organization that honors the service, lives, and sacrifices of the men and women that have worn the uniform of law enforcement, military, or first responder.
Hastings said, “Currently, we’re doing an average of about 40 of these on an annual basis, this is the third one in two weeks.”
On Friday, about 200 people gathered in front of Galesburg High School to hammer in flags for Weist.
“I remember the day that we interviewed Nick and he was going to be just a tremendous deputy, we knew he would, and he was. He was a fantastic guy. He’s going to be missed by a lot of people, and this is my way of honoring him,” said Pat Hennenfent, a member of Sheriff’s America Mission.
Those who knew Weist, and those who didn’t, wore yellow life jackets to remember his time as deputy.
“I’ve been out in Galesburg for about 15 years, so this is still my community no matter what. With a bad tragedy, I figured I’d come out to help and support,” said community member Percy Jackson.
But mostly, the town came together to send a message of respect for Weist’s family.
“When this is all said and done, I promise you, the one thing that family will remember is that their community came together to set up flags, and line flags, and pay honor to their loved one because their community cared,” said Hastings.
There will be a public memorial service for Weist at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, at Galesburg High School, and it will also be live-streamed on the Galesburg High School YouTube channel.
Departure: Dennison Funeral Home to Galesburg High School – Saturday, May 7, at approximately 11:15 a.m.
- Leave Dennison Funeral Home and head Southbound, Route 67
- Turn Eastbound on 1st Ave (Hunt St) in Alexis
- Turn Southbound Kelly St (120th St)
- Turn Eastbound on IL-164
- Turn Northbound on Linwood Rd.
- Turn Eastbound on W Fremont St to Galesburg High School