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Hastings keynotes wreath-laying ceremony

Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 11:19 AM

Hastings wreath laying 121918DANVILLE — State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) gave the keynote speech at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Danville National Cemetery last week.

Hastings is a West Point graduate who served in the Army from 1998 to 2008, served in Iraq and the borders of Iran and Syria.  Hastings lost friends in combat and emphasized the value of keeping their memories alive in his speech at the 12th annual event.

“Our brave veterans sacrificed their lives to protect our democratic values and freedoms,” Hastings said. “We should find ways in our daily routines to recognize their sacrifices and achievements to guarantee we continue to honor and remember their memories.”

Danville National Cemetery has almost 11,000 grave sites. The cemetery serves veterans within a radius of 75 miles.

“I sincerely appreciate being part of this heartwarming event. It was great to see the City of Danville and Vermilion County come together to honor our brave comrades during this holiday season,” Hastings said.

Wreaths were laid in honor of the US military branches and groups: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and POW/MIA. Family members also placed wreaths in honor of fallen service men and women.

Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992.

The organization’s mission is to “Remember, Honor, Teach.” Every year the organization emphasizes their mission by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,200 veterans’ cemeteries and other locations across the nation each December.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) gave the keynote speech at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Danville National Cemetery last week. (Left to Right: State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), 2018 Georgetown Fair Queen Billi Jo Shank and Hastings). 

New ethics watchdog backed by Senator Link

Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 11:14 AM

link 042618SPRINGFIELD – Senator Terry Link offered his support for Judge Carol Pope to be the next Illinois Legislative Inspector General, the top ethics watchdog for the General Assembly and its employees.

“Judge Carol Pope has a long career in public service and the experience, qualifications and character that are necessary for the important role of Legislative Inspector General,” said Senator Terry Link, a Vernon Hills Democrat. “The people of Illinois can trust Judge Pope to investigate and take proper action regarding any cases that come through the office.” 

Link is a member of the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission that is recommending Pope be hired.  

Judge Pope currently serves as a member of the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee, which provides ethics advice to judges throughout Illinois. Pope previously served seven years as a State’s Attorney in Menard County, 17 years as a Circuit Court Judge and nine years as Appellate Justice in the Fourth Appellate District.

Castro responds to new legislative inspector general appointment

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 03:10 PM

castro 041118ELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement regarding the unanimous decision by the Legislative Ethics Commission to appoint Carol Pope as the legislative inspector general:

“I am confident that Judge Pope will fulfill her duties and meet our expectations as the legislative inspector general. She will bring her experience and knowledge to our commission and help us move forward and become stronger.”

Morrison responds to Justice Department decision to ban bump stocks

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 02:58 PM

morrison 031518SPRINGFIELD - State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) issued the following statement this afternoon after news that the U.S. Justice Department is banning bump stocks. Bump stocks are attachments used to increase the rate of fire of semiautomatic weapons, allowing them to fire nearly as fast as a machine gun. The device was used in the deadly Las Vegas shooting in 2017 that killed 58 people at a country music concert.

“Today’s decision by the Justice Department is long overdue. Bump stocks have no place in our streets or in our communities. These devices were created for one purpose – to inflict as much human carnage as possible.”

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