Georgetown United

"This is a day when all Americans from every walk
of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace...
America has stood down enemies before,
and we will do so this time."

-- President George W. Bush, address to the nation

Please click on the flag to visit our Memorial. And then you may return to visit Patriot Park. Thank you.

The Building of a Dream

Patriot Park and Flag Monument dedicated November 11, 2000

Georgetown, Illinois

The Independent News, November 8, 2000 Edition, permission granted.

"On Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2000, at 2:00 p.m. eight months of dedication to an ideal will be highlighted by the public dedication of Patriot Park and the Flag Monument on the Georgetown square.

Following the approval of Mayor Darrell Acord and the City Council on May 1st, the newly-formed "Sponsor A Flag" committee aggressively pursued a revitalization of patriotism in Georgetown.

The original goal was to acquire sponsors of at least 52 American Flags so that the section of Route 1 which runs through the town could be decorated on such holidays as the Fourth of July and Veterans Day. To the amazement of the committee. not 52, but, as of October 17th, 338 flags have been sponsored by individuals, businesses, organizations, and unions. (Each sponsorship costs a one-time fee of $35.)

The second goal was to list the names of those honored by the flying of each of the flags. Due to the overwhelming response, the idea of the small plaque gave way to the building of a large monument which will contain nameplates for each of the honorees.

This obvious revival of the patriotic spirit, coupled with the vision of the future by Mayor Acord and the Council, have resulted in a small parking area on the southeast corner of the downtown square recently being developed into what will now be known as Patriot Park. The space in the Park allows for the Flag monument (which celebrates both civilian and veteran patriots), an American Legion Monument (which celebrates the various branches of the armed services), and a permanent blue spruce Christmas tree. Additional space is available for the placement of future monuments.

The dedication ceremony will involve the American Legion Dornblaser Post #203, the Boy Scouts Troop 287, Cub Scout Troop 216, Mayor Darrell Acord, The GRHS Marching Band under the direction of Sara McGovern, Pastor James Blue of the Olivet Church of the Nazarene, Father John Paninski of St. Isaac Jogues Parish, Speaker Ray Nasser, and a balloon release. It is estimated that several hundred citizens will be in attendance for this celebration of freedom and the American way of life which has stood the test of time through the efforts of those civilian and veteran patriots who have supported or defended it even in many cases to be point of the ultimate sacrifice.

Due to the overwhelming success of the "Sponsor A Flag" program, the committee is making plans to raise funds to construct an addition to the new monument."

Mayor Acord

Commercial News, November 5, 2000 Edition (excerpts page 3A), permission granted.

"After eight months of preparation, Patriot Park and the Parade of Patriots Monument will be dedicated on Veterans Day to the ideal of patriotism.

"This is for patriots, not just for veterans of the armed forces," said Sonja Woods, chairwoman of the Sponsor-A-Flag Committee. "It's for anyone who has supported the American way of life."

The American flags will line Illinois Route 1 and West Street and are flown on holidays. The flags will be flown Monday throughout Nov. 13 in honor of Election Day and Veterans Day.

"Once we encouraged the public to step forward as proud Americans, we didn't have to do a lot," Woods said, having received monumental support from the community. Sponsoring a flag is not limited to Georgetown residents.

"The monument symbolizes that everyone is in support of the flag and the country," Mayor Acord said.

"I want (people who see the park) to find they're walking a little bit taller because they're an American," Woods said. "I think (the park) is a reflection of the present mayor and council looking toward the future. It's a matter of civic pride."

Anyone interested in sponsoring a flag can call city hall at 662-2525.

Commercial News, March 20, 2001 Edition (page 1A), permission granted.

Judges to visit Georgetown

"Residents will put their best foot forward Thursday--attempting to impress judges from the Governor's Home Town Awards Program.

Sonja Woods of the Sponsor A Flag Committee told the city council Monday night that Georgetown is one of three finalists in the 2,500-5,000 population group. "We are guaranteed one, two, or three, but we won't know the results until June 26."

Woods submitted a 4 pound booklet that chronicles the Sponsor A Flag Program and the building of Patriot Park.

She and other committee members will have an hour Thursday to impress the judges who will make an on-site visit. They will talk to several of the volunteers involved.

Nearly 350 flags will be flying Thursday along Illinois Route 1 and West Street--a project started last year for many holidays.

There were 124 entries in the eight population divisions of the contest.

"It's a celebration of volunteerism," Woods said. "We must prove we have what our application says we have."

Sonja Woods

Even though the construction of two additions to the Flag Monument is underway in Patriot Park, it will be a few months before the additions are completed because of the cost of the locking, glass door cabinets. (To help speed up the process, the Sponsor A Flag Committee will be hosting a Rummage/Baked Goods/Candy/Collectbles/ and Craft Sale on Saturday, May 5th from 8a.m. to 2p.m. at the Georgetown City Interurban Park. All proceeds will be used for the monument.)

However, individuals are still welcome to participate in the sponsor program and can feel confident that the Committee will move as quickly as possible to display all nameplates. The original monument was designed with the belief that the available space would last a couple of years. Because of the overwhelming support of the community, the space was filled before the end of the year. The Committee sure isn't complaining--just explaining! Several local citizens have expressed an interest in the Sponsor A Flag program for those individuals or families who want to display their flag on their own porch or flag pole. The Committee agrees that this option is good. Therefore, as of May 1, 2001, the following choices will be available for those who wish to participate in the program.

OPTION # 1 $40.00 The City of Georgetown will be responsible for the ordering, displaying, storing, insuring, and (if necessary) the replacement of the 3 X 5 American Flag. The name of the Honoree will be inscribed on a nameplate which will be placed on the addition to the Flag Monument in Patriot Park. This is the original option.

OPTION # 2 $35.00 The City of Georgetown will be responsible for the ordering of the 3 X 5 American Flag. The sponsor will be responsible for the displaying, storing, insuring, and any necessary replacements. (It is understood that the flag will be displayed on personal, not city, property.) The name of the Honoree will be inscribed on a name plate which will be placed on the addition to the Flag Monument in Patriot Park. The flag will be delivered in approximately 2-4 weeks from date of order.

Lowe's in Danville has made a most generous patriotic gesture. They have donated 25 new porch flag pole kits which will be given to the first 25 applications for Option # 2.

If you have questions or would like to be a member of the Sponsor A Flag Committee, please call Sonja Woods at 662-8809. Applications for a Flag can be picked up at City Hall, 208 S. Walnut, Georgetown. Just a reminder: The Honoree can be anyone who is proud to be an American Patriot. While one does not have to be a veteran to be sponsored, veterans do have special notations on the nameplates.

Congratulations, GEORGETOWN!

Commercial News, June 27, 2001 Edition (page 1A), permission granted.

Georgetown rewarded for efforts

"GEORGETOWN---Residents can be proud of the city's volunteers. Georgetown tied for first place in its population category to receive the 2001 Governor's Home Town Award for volunteer efforts to promote patriotism.

The volunteers raised funds to build Patriot Park, a flag monument and purchased flags for display. The city was awarded the honor at a banquet Tuesday in Springfield, with 18 volunteers attending.

"We are grateful to our community for supporting us," said Sonja Woods, chairwoman of the Sponsor A Flag Committee. Georgetown was one of three finalists in the 3,001-6,000 population group. Round Lake Park was the other first-place winner in the category.

Georgetown which has a population of 3,700, received a walnut plaque that, along with a road sign, will be hung in city hall. After being given the award, the city was a finalist for the Governor's Cup award.

"This will help the people see that volunteerism is here," Mayor Darrell Acord said. The annual Governor's Home Town Awards are given to municipalities that commit to bettering their communities through volunteerism. Woods submitted a 4-pound booklet chronicling the Sponsor A Flag Program and the building of Patriot Park. Judges visited the city for an hour on March 22, and talked to volunteers.

Nearly 350 flags were flying along Illinois Route 1 and West Street during the visit. There were 124 entries in the eight population divisions. Eligible projects involve general efforts to improve a community service or facility, achievements for or by youths, achievements by or on behalf of senior citizens and efforts to encourage economic development.

"A lot of communities don't even do what we do," Acord said, adding"that the award shows that people can get together to accomplish something." The committee plans to add to the Patriot Park monument so 550 more names of veterans can be placed there."

Click on the image below for a larger view, great picture!

The Independent News, October 24, 2001 edition, permission granted.

"In March of this year,a temporary plastic Patriot Park sign was placed on the front of the Georgetown Park's Eagle. It has now been replaced by a long-awaited, permanent granite sign. This new marker is a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Roy Burgoyne of Georgetown. The labor and material to sandblast the lettering was donated by Leverenz Memorials in Danville. Alderman Tom Smith, Don Woods, and Ed Shirley volunteered to attach the sign.

The Sponsor A Flag Committee is working to complete the park by Veterans Day, November 11, 2001. The additional work includes installing three permanent flag poles, increasing the lighting, and installing two new nameplate cases. The cases have been donated by Envirox, L.L.C. and DynaChem, Inc.

Damage was done to the lawn in Patriot Park by an unknown party or parties driving their vehicle across the park on the weekend of October 13th. The Committee is again announcing that there is an on-going $100 reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of any one who damages or vandalizes Patriot Park and/or the American Flags which are flown in honor of Georgetown's Patriots. The City of Georgetown and the Sponsor A Flag Committee are as dedicated to protecting as they are to displaying these very important symbols. It is equally important that the community help in this respect.

Please help be the eyes and ears in this project. If you have any information in regard to any damage or theft of these symbols, please call the Georgetown City Police at 662-2131."

Commercial News, November 18, 2001 edition, permission granted.

"GEORGETOWN---------Patriot Park has been completed after many hours of work by volunteers. Located in the southeast corner of the square in Georgetown, the park now has three monuments.

The original monument, the Parade of Patriots, is now full of names. Two new monuments have been added with one having 82 names of patriots and veterans. The other is empty. "We will continue putting names in as long as people want to sponsor somebody." said Sonja Woods, chairwoman of the Sponsor-A-Flag Committee.

Other work that has been completed includes installing lighting, landscaping, and putting in three new telescoping flagpoles. All of the labor was done by volunteers, Woods. said. A concrete eagle overlooks the park and a new sign made out of granite adorns the park. In addition, donations have been made by local businesses and residents to complete the park. Money for the cabinets that hold the nameplates was donated.

"It's all completed, evrything that we originally wanted to do," Woods siad. A total of 495 names has been sponsored and put on the monuments. The names are up-to-date and an additional 500 names can be added. An individual can pay $35 for a flag to put on his own property or $40 for the city to take care of the flag, Woods said. The flags line Illinois Route 1 and West Street and are flown on hoildays. Sponsoring a flag is not limited to Georgetown residents. Once a flag is sponsored, a corresponding nameplate is made. The name that is sponsored does not have be of a veteran.

"It's for anyone you feel is a true patriot of this country," Woods said. The names of those who are veterans are designated by stars or a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action sign. Many people "did whatever they could to help during war time," Woods said. About 84 percent of the names on the monuments are veterans. To sponsor a flag, contact Georgetown City Hall at 217-662-2525. The committee also is selling lapel pins that can be purchased at city hall. A ribbon pin is $2 and a flag pin is $1."

Steele Grafix

My thanks to Kim Shrout for providing the photos for the Timeline of Patriot Park. I scanned the photos and resized them to provide you a view of "A Building of a Dream".

Click here: Timeline of Patriot Park!

I would like to give a huge "Thank You" to Mayor Acord, Sonja Woods, the Planning Committee, and all the volunteers who made this Dream become a reality! Patriot Park and Flag Monument symbolizes to me what America stands for. Each time I drive through the square, I am reminded of our patriots and veterans honored here. I am so proud to say that I live in Georgetown, IL.!

The next two pages are Java applets with photos I took before, during and after the Dedication. Your browser must be Java enabled in order to view these applets.

Patriot Park Applet One

Patriot Park Applet Two

Patriot Park Completed!

Veterans Day at Patriot Park 2001

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Armed Forces Alumni

America Stands United

If you have a few more minutes, why not visit my tribute to POW/MIA's and Veterans?  POW/MIA & REMEMBRANCES  Thank you for your visit.

For the people who are local or anyone interested: I have created a Patriot Park Screen Saver, free for download. I would appreciate your imput on how you like this screensaver.

Would you like to sign Patriot Park's guestbook?

Green Family Ties

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Created & Maintained by EmailUpdated July 12, 2008

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