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A military icon, Danville’s Harold “Sparky” Songer dies

Danville's Harold "Sparky" Songer has died. A former Prisoner of War, who served in WWII, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam, Songer died Sunday at the VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.

Songer also helped lead efforts to build the World War II, Korean-Vietnam, and Women's War Memorials in Danville. And it was Songer and a group of other local Veterans who turned the former Carnegie Library in Downtown Danville into the Vermilion County War Museum.

Songer became a Prisoner of War during World War II. In 2004, Songer was honored by the Illinois General Assembly after being chosen to receive the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. The award was for Songer's efforts which led to the opening of the Vermilion County War Museum on Veteran's Day in 1999.

In April of 2011, Songer received national attention when he decided to fly the American Flags upside down in front of the War Museum and at the local war monuments. Songer said at the time that he was not doing it out of disrespect – but rather to alert others that our nation is in distress.

Songer spent a big part of his life serving our nation, but had also donated thousands of hours in bringing some of Danville's war memorials and the Vermilion County War Museum to reality.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately released.

94.1 WGFA