Batavia Mayor Jeffery Schielke, along with the city of Batavia and the Fox Valley Patriotic Organization, will dedicate and hold a grand opening ceremony for the Flag Day Monument, according to a news release.
The event is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, at Patriot’s Park, 100 N. Island Ave., Batavia.
The $1.5 million monument is a tribute to Dr. Bernard J. Cigrand, a Batavia dentist who was instrumental in creating a national Flag Day, according to the release. The program begins at the Peg Bond Center bandshell with remarks from Fox Valley Patriotic Organization board members and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Allen Lynch. After remarks, veterans and current military members, first responders, members of the Cigrand family and others will encircle the monument with a ribbon, which when cut officially will open the monument to the public.
The flag then will be raised on the 50-foot flagpole, which was donated by Batavia company FlagSource. After the ribbon-cutting, “The Star-Spangled Banner” will be played and the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 95 from Morris will fly over the monument in tribute. The festivities continue throughout the afternoon with a celebration to honor Dr. Cigrand’s 157th birthday and performances by the Batavia Community Band, Batavia High School a cappella ensemble Chromatics and the Batavia High School/Rotolo Middle School combined band ensemble, according to the release.
Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Food trucks will be available throughout the afternoon. Guided tours of the monument will be held. Visitors also will have the opportunity to create messages that will be encased in time capsules in the monument’s wall.
“The city of Batavia is very fortunate to have this world-class monument celebrating one of Batavia’s finest citizens and Flag Day. The Flag Day Committee spent countless hours putting together an event worthy of this momentous occasion,” Schielke said in the release. “I hope to see many folks from all over the Fox Valley in attendance enjoying this beautiful addition to Batavia’s riverfront.”
The Flag Day Monument design features a 40-foot diameter helix monument with a 10-foot-wide walkway around the perimeter. The flagpole will display a 10-by-18-foot flag. Elements of the monument commemorate iconic flag events, the U.S. population growth, the official flags flown by the U.S., armed conflicts and a Ring of Honor with the names of those who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor from Illinois.
The flagpole serves as a sundial and will highlight historic events. Additionally, the monument features signature bricks bought by families, businesses and organizations.
“Right now, more than ever, we need a symbol of unity. While the problems of today and tomorrow may be vastly different than what previous generations have faced, the opportunity to unify under our flag remains the same,” Austin Dempsey, president of the Fox Valley Patriotic Organization, said in the release.
The Flag Day Monument will be a work in progress, with space to include more milestones and commemorative bricks along the walkway, according to the release.
“We have the story of our nation’s history up to this point in time. However, this monument belongs to our neighbors and our children. They will write the next chapters,” Flag Day Monument architect Steve Vasilion said.
Visit flagdaymonument.com for more details about the Flag Day Monument and the Oct. 1 event.