PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Working to honor “America’s Flagman” at his final resting place.

Illinois native Larry Eckhardt spent many years traveling across the nation rallying communities to honor the lives of fallen servicemen and women.

For 15 years, Larry guided the mission raising nearly 50,000 flags.

Eckhardt died in early 2020 following a battle with thyroid cancer.

“Just continue on the mission, the feeling you get right here in your heart is all the pay and all the gratitude you ever need,” said successor Jeff Hastings.

The Little York native rests in the village. Two years later, his burial place remains marked by only an American flag.

Even though the Flagman’s Mission Continues after his death, Eckhardt’s successor said it’s time now for the tables to turn. This new mission will bring honor to the Flagman’s burial place.

“The locals keep a flag flying on his gravesite ever since the day that we buried him, but no headstone,” said Hastings. “So I said, ‘we’ve got to do something about this.'”

Hastings continues his friend’s mission and said it’s time for the communities he once served to do the same.

“This needs to be done,” said Hastings. “Larry deserves this. Larry was a very humble person and never wanted it to be about him, but it’s about him this time to me. Because without his thoughts, his past, and his history, we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing today.”

The Flagman’s Mission Continues is looking to raise $6,500 to purchase a headstone.

“If we get 65 people to donate $100, we’re done,” said Hastings. “Think about it. 65 people donate $100.”

Make a Donation

Send a check to:

The Flagman’s Mission Continues
118 West 6th Street
O’Fallon, Illinois, 62269

Memo: Larry’s Headstone

You can also make an online donation via PayPal. Make sure to leave a comment about earmarking the donation for Larry’s headstone.

The Flagman Mission Continues currently covers eight states within a 400-mile radius.

Hastings said Peoria Monument Company will create the headstone once donations are raised.