LOVES PARK, Ill. (AP) -- A northern Illinois veteran who gives away free American flags every Memorial Day has raised $4,000 for a fund to keep the tradition going after he dies.
World War II Navy veteran Lee Hartsfield is 87-years-old and tells the Rockford Register Star that he wants to raised $25,000 for the flag program and he has an anonymous donor who will match that amount.
Hartsfield started the program in 1984 after Winnebago County cut funding for Memorial Day flags. He raises $3,000 a year to pay for the flags, which decorate veterans' graves. The flags are given out at the Field of Honor in Loves Park.
Hartsfield says his goal is to raise $5,000 a year for the next few years. He says he'll "continue this until I die."