HARRISBURG -- Harrisburg Mayor John McPeek was joined by state Sen. Dale Fowler and members of the Daughters of the American Revolution Monday in raising the state's flag commemorating 200 years of Illinois statehood.
McPeek said the city joins many other Illinois municipalities in celebrating the state's bicentennial. McPeek and Fowler were joined Monday at the city flagpole in front of City Hall by Delores Vick, Michael Hillegas DAR Bicentennial Committee member and Sharon Tanner, Michael Hillegas DAR Chapter Regent/Bicentennial Committee, and others to see the flag raised.
Fowler said the morning flag raising was one of three he was attending. The city of Metropolis had a noon ceremony planned, and the city of Cairo had a 2 p.m. observance, Fowler said.
Fowler said the importance of 200 years of statehood should be underscored by highlighting Illinois' strengths.
"Sadly, I think Illinois' rich history and invaluable attributes are frequently overshadowed or forgotten," he said. "Especially over the past few years and in the midst of hard times, I know it has been hard on many to see the break in the clouds and remember how Illinois has grown, acknowledge everything that Illinois has to offer and recognize the potential within our state."
Some of Illinois' strengths are world-class colleges and universities, rich farmlands and agricultural goods, and natural beauties like the Shawnee National Forest, he said. He also said the state is a national and global hub of commerce, home to a skilled workforce and industry leaders and an energy powerhouse.