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Watch now: Volunteers needed to set up U.S. flags honoring fallen State Trooper Todd Hanneken
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Watch now: Volunteers needed to set up U.S. flags honoring fallen State Trooper Todd Hanneken


MOUNT ZION — Volunteers are needed to help set up U.S. flags on Wednesday in advance of the funeral of Illinois State Police Trooper Todd Hanneken.

Anyone interested in helping can meet at 3:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Mount Zion Intermediate School, 310 S. Henderson St. Help also will be needed picking up the flags at 10 a.m. Friday. 

Volunteers will meet despite weather conditions and are asked to wear gloves and dress accordingly to help set up over 2,000 flags. 

Hanneken's funeral is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, April 1, at the Intermediate School.

A procession escorts fallen Illinois State Trooper Todd Hanneken on Friday along Mount Zion Road between Long Creek and Mount Zion in this video provided by a Herald & Review reader. Hanneken, of Long Creek, died in a single-vehicle accident Thursday while on duty.

Hanneken, 45, of Long Creek died Thursday morning when his squad car rammed into a utility pole and a tree on Illinois 10 in Bondville. Hanneken was on patrol but State Police said he was not responding to a call and there appeared to be no signs of foul play.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Hanneken was a 1994 graduate of Mount Zion High School. In 1999, he graduated with his bachelor's in criminal justice sciences from Illinois State University. He achieved his lifelong goal of becoming a second generation Illinois State Police Trooper, graduating in December 2000 as a part of Cadet Class 100. Hanneken’s father also served as a state trooper.

Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly holds a press conference on the death of Illinois State Trooper Todd Hanneken, of Long Creek.

Hanneken was awarded the Illinois State Police Medal of Honor for rescuing an Illinois Department of Transportation worker from a burning vehicle in May 2018. It had been rear-ended by a semitruck on Interstate 57.

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"His dedication to duty and to his fellow man is an inspiration to us all. I wish him the very best, along with all of the survivors of the crash that day," said then-U.S. Rep. John Shimkus in a speech honoring Hanneken on the House floor in December 2019. 

A State Police procession escorted the fallen trooper back to Mount Zion on Friday. People lined the route and signs at various emergency agencies along the route expressed condolences.

He is survived by his wife Shelley; his two sons, Ben and Nick; his brother Chad; his mother Vickie; and his father Jerry. 

The flag display effort is being coordinated by The Flagman’s Mission Continues, a group that honors the service, lives, and sacrifices of the men and women that have worn the uniform. 

25 photos of Mount Zion people and places from our archives

Contact Garrett Karsten at (217) 421-6949. Follow him on Twitter: @GarrettKarsten


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