Kappy’s Restaurant raises flags in Morton Grove

The corner of Harlem Avenue and Dempster Street in Morton Grove got a shot of patriotism when the ownership at Kappy’s Restaurant & Pancake House recently erected a 40-foot flagpole and raised three flags.

During a Dec. 10 ceremony, an American flag (eight feet by 12 feet), prisoner of war/missing in action flag (five feet by 8 feet) and service flag (four feet by six feet) were presented and raised for the first time by a contingent from Morton Grove American Legion Post 134.

“The flagpole is something I wanted to do for our vets,” Kappy’s owner George Alpogianis said. “My father is a veteran of the Korean War, I have four cousins currently in service, and we see countless veterans and servicemen on leave come through our doors every day. Paying tribute to their sacrifices just seemed right.”

However, Alpogianis plans on raising the flag for each branch of the military during the months when each was founded – The Navy in October; the Air Force in September; the Marines in November; the Army in June; and the Coast Guard in August.

In his spare time, Alpogianis is the scout master for a Niles Cub Scout pack and a Niles Boy Scout Troop. To show appreciation to boys who also provide community services, the Boy Scouts of America flag will be raised in February.

Dignitaries from Morton Grove and Niles were invited to the Dec. 10 ceremony, as well as representatives from both villages’ police departments.

Alpogianis said he enlisted in the United States Marines Corp as a teenager but was rejected because of his asthma. From then on, he always looked up to service men and women.

The idea of installing a flagpole had surfaced many times in the past, but Alpogianis said he finally decided to commit while attending a Veteran’s Day ceremony this year.

Noticing the disconnect between veterans of the World War II and Vietnam eras and the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan era, Alpogianis started brainstorming ways to pay tribute to both while also linking their sacrifices.

“These branches of the military were created for a reason and all those guys who took the first steps have to be remembered and thanked for that difficult task,” Alpogianis said. “The service flag honors our current men and women, but all our troops, past and present, made or kept our country’s flag red, white and blue.”

The POW/MIA flag is also universal, Alpogianis said.

“War is gruesome and there is, unfortunately, a price to pay for freedom,” Alpogianis said. “Not everyone makes it home and forever remembering why they left is the least we can do.”


7200 West Dempster Street

Morton Grove, IL 60053

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Phone. 847.470.1900

Fax. 847.470.0252