DeKalb, IL: On flag day, June 14th, 2023, the DeKalb ELKS Lodge 765 will host the official lighting ceremony for the new DeKalb Veterans Memorial. While the official dedication for the memorial was on October 1st, 2022, money for the new lighting was donated this past spring and recently completed.
While not a formal event, members of the ELKS, various Veteran groups, and people who purchased bricks and flags felt that Flag Day would be a perfect time to showcase this special memorial lighting project. The lights will be showcased at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, June 14th.
“The original plans called for special and unique lighting, but we needed to raise additional funds”, comment Michael Embrey, the inspiration and creator of the new DeKalk Veterans Memorial. Embrey is a US Air Force Veteran and long-time ELK member.
“The vision of ground-to-sky red, white, and blue lights creates a very visual welcome to the memorial as well as a positive welcome to DeKalb and Northern Illinois University. As visitors and residences drive north on Annie Glidden Road, they will have a deeper appreciation of the ELKS commitment to our military and veteran families.”
While no formal event, people are invited to visit the Memorial at 8:00 PM and learn about the project as well as view the names of service members on inscribed bricks of those that are placed at the Memorial Plaza as well as sponsors of the flags and poles. There will be a brief explanation of the Veteran Memorial and the reason for Flag Day.
The ELKS Lodge will be closed but families are encouraged to bring any refreshments to enjoy as they visit the memorial. There will be a fire in the Memorial Firepit for those wanting to make smores for the kids.
Literature about sponsorship, purchasing an inscribed brick, a military bench, or a flag and pole will be available.
“While designing this memorial, I felt inspired to create a vision that gives inspiration, gives energy to the efforts of those that served, provides that commitment and devotion that will last for generations to come, and give a lighted memorial honoring those that served did not die in vain”, said Embrey in the October 2022 dedication.
The holiday commemorates the date in 1777 when the United States approved the design for its first national flag. From the original Betsy Ross flag, to the 48 Star Flag that prevailed during World War 2, to the current 50-star flag … America has the ultimate banner of freedom.
The idea to set aside a day to honor the national flag came from several sources. Bernard J. Cigrand, a Wisconsin schoolteacher, in 1885 urged his students to observe June 14 as “Flag Birthday.” He later wrote an essay published in a Chicago newspaper that urged Americans to proclaim this date as the day to celebrate the flag. In 1888 William T. Kerr of Pennsylvania founded the American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania, an organization to which he dedicated his life. A lesser-known claim is that of George Morris of Connecticut, who is said to have organized the first formal celebration of the day in Hartford in 1861.
To learn more about the DeKalb ELKS organization, please contact Jerry Events, ER at
Telephone: (815) 756-6912
Directions: 209 S Annie Glidden Road DeKalb IL
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