SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Rod Blagojevich today issued a proclamation directing all State of Illinois facilities to start lowering their flags to half-staff on the day of the funeral for any Illinois National Guardsman killed in the line of duty.
"These brave men and women are willing to put their lives on the line for the sake of the State of Illinois and our nation," said Blagojevich. "This gesture will show our honor and respect for Citizen Soldiers and Airmen who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of freedom."
Under the Governor's proclamation, all state facilities will lower flags to half-staff on the day the funeral is held for an Illinois National Guard member who dies in combat. In the past, flags at state armories were lowered when a Guardsman was killed in action. This measure expands the practice to include every state facility.
The recommendation for the statewide flag-lowering policy came from Paul Vogel of suburban Barrington.
In August, Governor Blagojevich dedicated a State Global War on Terrorism Memorial. The names of all fallen Illinois service members - Active, Guard and Reserve - are placed on this memorial in honor of their sacrifice. The memorial is on temporary display at the Illinois State Military Museum at Camp Lincoln in Springfield until the Global War on Terrorism ends and a permanent display location is designated.
The text of the Governor's proclomation follows:
WHEREAS, due to our current military conflicts, the brave men and women of the Illinois National Guard are working diligently overseas to ensure our national security and make our world a safer place to live; and
WHEREAS, it is a great tragedy when a member of the Illinois National Guard is killed in the line of duty, and it is important that we, as a state, pay tribute to their ultimate sacrifice; and
WHEREAS, under Paragraph (a) of Section 2 of Article XII of the Illinois Constitution, the Governor is commander-in-chief of Illinois’ organized militia; and
WHEREAS, under Section 7 of Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code, 4 USC 7, in the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the Governor may proclaim that the flag of the United States of America be flown at half-staff:
THEREFORE, I, Rod Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby order from this day forward that all state facilities fly the flag of the United States of America at half-staff on the day of the funeral of every fallen Illinois National Guard member, and that the flags be raised back to full-staff on the following day.