Three of the Weir children, from left, Tad Weir, Julie Gockley and Cathy Renk, pooled their resources to provide a memorial to their parents, which they hope will fly forever over the city they loved. (Johnson Publications photo)
The base built below the of the flag pole has the same brick as the nearby city office buildings. (Johnson Publications photo)
Sitting atop a 50-foot pole, the U.S. flag was flying briskly Saturday afternoon. (Johnson Publications photo)
Parents’ memory lives on with gift of U.S. flag
Bill and Nancy Weir loved Imperial, the community in which they lived for more than 50 years.
While both Bill and Nancy have passed away, their children are keeping their memory alive with a high-flying gift to the city their parents loved.
Last week, the brick memorial base was completed that sits below a 50-foot flag pole carrying a 10 x 15-foot American flag, all gifted to the city by three of the Weir children—Cathy (Weir) Renk of Peru, Ill., Tad Weir of Imperial and Julie (Weir) Gockley of Imperial.
They all felt there was no better way to memorialize their parents than with the American flag.
It stands along Broadway Street between 7th and 8th Streets, at the northeast edge of the city office buildings.
The memorial plaque at the base reads, “May Old Glory fly in their honor forever over the city they loved.”
Nancy Weir was one of the co-founders of the Chase County chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge (FFVF), whose goal is to bring the message of engaged and responsible citizenship to schools and communities. Each year, the FFVF chapter provides scholarships to high school students here to attend seminars on the FFVF campus in Valley Forge, Pa., and a tour of Washington D.C.
Both Bill and Nancy were also active in a number of community organizations and city boards/commissions. Bill passed away in 2008; Nancy in 2015.
The city provided the installation of the flag, and ran the utilities to the pole so it could be lit at night. Lighting above and below the flag comes on automatically at night, so the flag is visible 24 hours a day.
Cathy said her mother was adamant about lighting on the flag at night, so they weren’t about to leave off the lighting.
Jo Leyland, city clerk/administrator, worked closely with the Weir children on the project.
Leyland said she couldn’t be happier with the project.
“I just think it’s so beautiful. I love how it looks and it’s such a nice addition to this area,” she said.
Cathy said their parents always taught them to give back. Their parents can smile now, knowing they listened.