DeKalb, IL – The City of DeKalb has a new title, the State of Illinois ‘Most Veteran Friendly City’. The National Veteran Organization ’40&8′ announced that DeKalb (IL) has been awarded the title of Veteran City of the Year for 2023-2024.
This award comes from the State of Illinois 40&8 Veteran Organization. The purpose of the award is to recognize and honor a city or town which has or is doing something significant for veterans or veteran families in that community and surrounding area. The project(s) must be supportive of the veteran and active duty military community.
“Our award committee was extremely impressed with the extensive number of veteran projects in the DeKalb area”, commented Illinois 40&8 Award Chair Wallace ‘Wally’ Hammond. “The various memorials and veteran acknowledgments really speak volumes about the attitude toward military veterans in the DeKalb community.”
“It has been exciting to see new memorials and update tributes to our fellow veterans,” stated Michael Embrey, USAF Veteran and coordinator for several of the new projects. “It is important to let the people, not only in the community, but throughout the Midwest that DeKalb is a Veteran Friendly City and extends a welcome to all veterans and veteran families to come and visit. This is not about one person or one group, but a unified effort to support all veterans.”
Some of the veteran projects include the DeKalb Hometown Hero Banners, reserved parking spaces at various locations, welcome veteran signage around the city, Memorial Clock to honor World War I veterans (1919-one of the first memorials in the nation), the new DeKalb Veterans’ Memorial, new WWI memorial, special veteran signage, and other veteran projects currently under consideration.
“As the Mayor of the City of DeKalb (IL), I am extremely pleased with our community efforts to support our local veterans and veteran families”, comments Mayor Cohen Barnes. “With the various veteran projects over the past three years, I am excited to let people know throughout the country that we are the State of Illinois’ Most Veteran Friendly City.” (Note: DeKalb Mayor Cohen Barnes is a US Army Veteran.) Mayor Barnes will attend the State 40&8 Convention in Bloomington, Illinois in mid-August to accept this award.
State winners of the Veteran City of the Year award will be submitted to the National 40&8 Award committee for consideration for the National Award for Veteran City of the Year. This will be announced in late July.
The 40&8 organization is an independent, by invitation, honor society of American veterans, more commonly known as “The Forty & Eight”. The Forty & Eight is committed to charitable and patriotic aims. The Forty and Eight is an organization of veterans of the United States armed forces. Its official name is “La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux,” which is French, and translates as “The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses.” Forty and Eight, is a nonprofit organization of U.S. Veterans headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is made up of state, U.S. territory, and overseas groups, and these are in turn made up of local chapters. This veteran organization started after the end of World War I in 1919, to both honor the French nurses that treated the American GI and also to help fund scholarships for WWI deceased veteran’s children.
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