Sommer legislation to honor fallen military personnel becomes law


SPRINGFIELD – Flags in Illinois will fly at half-staff in honor of all Illinois military personnel killed on duty due to legislation sponsored by State Representative Keith Sommer (R-Morton) and signed today by Governor Bruce Rauner.

“When an Illinois servicemember makes the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, whether under hostile fire or in training, that person deserves to be recognized and honored by our state,” Sommer said. “This new law does just that.”

The legislation was inspired by the family of U.S. Marine Corps Major Reid Nannen of Hopedale, a Marine aviator who was killed in a training accident in Nevada in 2014. Illinois law at the time specified that flags could only be lowered in the state for military personnel killed by hostile fire, and so this tribute was not accorded to Maj. Nannen. Maj. Nannen’s father, Dale Nannen, testified in an Illinois House committee in the spring in support of the legislation, and his family was on hand for the passage of the bill in the Illinois House and Senate.
House Bill 2932 passed the House and Senate unanimously. It was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap).