CHICAGO (CBS) — At one house in Bourbonnais, cutting the grass is just the beginning of a massive Independence Day project. Kyle O’May is hosting a July 4th party to show off the huge American flag he and his friends painted on the front lawn.
O’May and Tyler Shear started the project weeks ago, working hard to keep the lawn neat and trimmed.
“We want to do our best that we can do to make it look and represent the flag the best that we can,” O’May said. “We want to make sure that this grass is in top notch shape.”
Neighbor Mike Cherry said O’May and Shear put a lot of work getting the lawn ready.
“They’ve cleaned it up. I mean, they took out bushes, trees, junk, everything out of there,” he said.
Even though he hasn’t served in the military, O’May said he has friends and family who have, so he wanted to show his appreciation in the best way he could.
The stars and stripes now take up his whole front yard.
“That’s the American spirit,” Cherry said.
A carpenter, O’May said he made sure to have all the measurements exact before they started painting.
“Usually the saying is measure twice, cut once, but here we’re measuring twice and spraying once,” he said. “I wanted to make sure that it was drawn to scale. I did as much as I could from my side all the way to the property line. I got all 50 stars in there, 13 stripes.”
It might be a huge flag, but O’May said it’s just a small show of appreciation for history and the men and women of the military.
The final product measures approximately 40 feet by 26 feet.
“These guys over here, I don’t think they could go any further with it without offending the local authorities,” neighbor Anthony Fortino joked.
O’May said it’s the second year he’s painted the American flag on his front yard.
“After we did it the first time, as soon as it got done, and we looked at it, we realized that this is going to have to get done every year,” he said. “There’s no escaping it. It’s not just for us. It’s for men and women shipped overseas, to their community around us.”
“The easy answer is freedom for everybody here, men and women overseas,” Shear said.
O’May is soliciting donations for the Wounded Warrior Project at his July 4th party.