Illinois lowered US flag more than dozen times in 2015
On nearly nine out of 10 days last year, one or more states were flying the American flag at half-staff to memorialize the deaths of military members, public officials, police, first responders, prominent citizens, and victims of mass killings and disasters, The Associated Press found in analyzing information requested from all 50 states and the federal government.
In Illinois, the half-staff honors included those for former Gov. Dan Walker, State Rep. Esther Golar and a number of armed forces, emergency and law enforcement personnel _ including the former northern Illinois police lieutenant later found to have killed himself to cover up his embezzling.
Below are the instances when Illinois ordered the U.S. flag flown at half-staff last year on at least some government property, separate from proclamations that came from the federal government:
Feb. 12-14: Medora Fire Chief Kenneth Lehr, 59, who died when he was accidentally run over by a fire engine while trying to help an injured man.
April 29-May 3: Former Gov. Dan Walker, a Democrat who served one term in the 1970s but also almost 18 months in prison for bank fraud. He died at 92.
May 18-June 3: Marine Cpl. Sara Medina, 23, from Aurora, killed in May along with five other Marines in a helicopter crash on an earthquake relief mission in Nepal.
June 1-3: Air Force 2nd Lt. Harry McGuire, 24, navigator aboard a World War II bomber shot down in Italy in 1944. Remains of the Chester native were identified in 2015.
Aug. 12-14: Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Stephen Biezis, 23, from Chicago, a World War II airman shot down in 1944. His remains wee identified in 2015.
Aug. 13-15: Tazewell County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Whisenand, 44, who died in car crash while on duty.
Aug. 18-20: Army Air Forces Staff Sgts. Ward Swalwell Jr. and Maurice Fevold, both 21 and from Chicago. They were members of a World War II bomber crew shot down over Germany in 1944, and their remains were identified in 2015.
Aug. 27-29: Army Maj. Dale Richardson, 29, who died in 1970 after a helicopter crash in Cambodia. His remains were identified in 2015.
Aug. 28-30: U.S. Forest Service firefighter Andrew Zajac. A 26-year-old Chicago-area native, he died trying to escape a wildfire in Washington state, where he lived.
Sept. 5-7: Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, initially mourned for apparently dying in the line of duty. Later in the year it emerged the 52-year-old had killed himself because he feared discovery of his embezzlement from a youth program, authorities said.
Sept. 17-19: McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Maness, 47, who died of a blood clot resulting from an on-duty shooting 11 months earlier.
Sept. 27-29: State Rep. Esther Golar, a Chicago Democrat, who died at age 71.
Dec. 9-11: Matteson firefighter Mark Zielinski, 49, died of a heart problem while performing CPR.
Dec. 16-18: Chicago firefighter Daniel Capuano, 42, fell down an elevator shaft while fighting a warehouse fire.
Dec. 17-19: Army Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Mose Weiss, 32, who was killed when a helicopter crashed during training in Tennessee.