When some individuals and local groups came together to start a project to honor local veterans, their plan was to place 46 banners in the uptown Hillsboro area. This week they started placing close to three times that many.
The public response was so great that 130 banners purchased as part of the “Honoring Those Who’ve Served,” project originated by Alex Butler started going up this week. The plan is to have them all in place for Memorial Day.
“Oh yes, it was way more than we expected,” said Becky Williams, intake counselor for the Highland County Veterans Services Commission and a volunteer with Support Our Troops of Highland County. “When we first started out we were only going to do 46, but then we started getting more locations where we could put the banners.”
The 16-inch wide by 45-inch long banners will be placed on light poles in the uptown quadrant from Beech Street to Walnut Street and from St. Mary’s Catholic Church to the Masonic temple, Williams said. Some light poles will have two banners and some will have four banners, depending on the size of the pole.
In the center of town sponsor banners will be put up on traffic poles recognizing the local VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, VFW Auxiliary, Honor Guard, Support Our Troops and Highland County Historical Society, along with one recognizing local veterans that were prisoners of war, according to Williams.
“Our sponsors really helped make this venture happen,” said Stephanie Roland, who also works with Veterans Service Commission and Support Our Troops. “And the city really stepped with their employees volunteering to work after hours to help us get the banners up.”
She said the banners will remain on the poles until mid November.
“Then the committee will get back together and see how we want to go with it in the future,” Roland said.
Williams said one order has already been placed for next year and more applications have been requested.
The 16-inch by 45-inch banners cost $50 each. A smaller yard/garden banner can be purchased for $25.
Applications are available at the Highland County Veterans Service Office, 135 N. High St., Hillsboro; or the Highland County Historical Society, 151 E. Main St., Hillsboro.
For more information contact Roland at 937-763-8164 or Vicki Knauff at 937-393-3392.
The project was the brainchild of local resident Alex Butler.
“I first got the idea last year when I was driving through Owensville and saw veteran banners on their light poles,” Butler said when the project was first announced. “Soon after, Fayetteville did the same thing. I decided it was time to make this happen in Hillsboro, too. It is a very impressive view to drive through a small town and see local heroes on full display. This is something we all can get behind. It will honor those in our community who have served, promote a sense of community, and bolster our patriotism.”
A dedication ceremony for the banners is planned during Memorial Day services in Hillsboro that will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28 at the Veterans Monument on the Highland County Courthouse lawn.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.