QC Teen replaces 100th American flag with Gov. Rauner’s help in Silvis

SILVIS - A local teenager got a surprise and a celebration on Flag Day, June 14.

As Liam Willcox was preparing to retire and replace his 100th flag, he got a surprise visit from Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

"I had no idea he was coming out here," said Liam, who will be an Eighth Grader at East Moline Christian School. "It was just a great honor."

Liam started the Flag Restoration Project nearly a year ago after being inspired by a veteran during a school visit.

"Liam has done a wonderful job," said Gov. Rauner.  "You know what? It's so wonderful to celebrate the American flag."

Family, friends and officials joined the celebration, which hit the 100 mark during the stop in Silvis.

"It felt like a victory," said Liam.  "It was a milestone for our project."

As Liam retired the next flag, there were cheers and the Pledge of Allegiance.

"Everybody that came here supported me enough so I could get to this point," Liam said.  "It wasn't me that did it.  It was everybody that helped me out."

Now that he reached 100 flags, he isn't about to stop.

"As long as people need flags, I hope I'll be here to help them out," Liam said.

And what about Gov. Rauner's visit?

"It's amazing," Gov. Rauner concluded.

"I'm glad he did because I had a little trouble getting that one down," Liam concluded.

To help the Flag Restoration Project, the Moline VFW is accepting new flags or monetary donations.  The Moline VFW is at 1721 7th Street, Moline, IL, 61265.