Hero down, flags up: 500 flags to honor fallen veteran and fire chief in Tremont

Local News

TREMONT, Ill. (WMBD) — A group is raising 500 flags on Sunday to honor a former Tremont fire chief and army veteran.

A firefighter for 50 years, Alan Sanders died on Dec. 12 from COPD and heart congestion. He was 82 years old.

“We’re gonna really miss him, [he was] an integral part of Tremont,” said Tremont resident and Vietnam veteran Rick Otey.

Otey said the group will plant 500 American flags on Sunday along the Sanders’ funeral procession line starting from Tremont City Park. The funeral is on Tuesday at 11 A.M.

He said the flag raising is a way to honor Sanders’ many contributions to the Tremont community.

“Everybody will remember Al, just because he was around the community so much. Anything that was going on in the community, Al was involved in it,” Otey said.

The flags come courtesy of The Flagman Mission Continues , started by veteran Larry “the Flagman” Eckhardt in 2006 to “honor the service, lives and sacrifice of the men and women that have worn the uniform.”

Otey said anyone who wants to participate is welcome. Flag planting starts at 1 P.M. on Sunday at the small shelter in Tremont City Park.

Visitation hours are from 3-7 P.M. on Monday at Tremont United Methodist Church.

The funeral procession starts at 11 A.M. on Tuesday.

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