GALION — The popular veterans banner program, hosted by the Galion Historical Society since 2018, is nearing the end as 2021 will be the last year people can honor their veteran family members and friends on a commemorative banner which are displayed on Harding Way and in Heise Park.
Tanesha Pickering, director of the Galion Historical Society, explained when the program began it was planned to only be a three year project.
Pickering said the idea for the project came when she and her husband were on a road trip in southern Ohio and drove through a little town and saw veteran banners and she said it was the first time she had ever seen anything like it.
“It definitely caught my attention and I was thinking about it later on and wondered how we could do it in Galion,” Pickering explained.
Pickering said she approached the board about it and asked if it was something they could do. She said they contacted the city to make sure they could hang the banners downtown and said Mayor Tom O’Leary gave them permission to use the lamp posts.
“We wrote a grant because we knew we would have to get the banner bracket material and we didn’t want that cost to fall on the public,” she said. “So we wrote a grant to the Community Foundation for Crawford County and they funded the banner materials and the American Legion Post 243 here in Galion also helped fund the materials and we worked with Photorama Studios and Craig Alguirer, we talked to him and he was willing to make the banners. When people pay the $47 fee to make the banner that purely goes to Photorama to print the banner and I think Craig has deeply discounted the cost of those for our military families.
“It takes multiple organizations to get this done,” she continued. “The Galion Line Department hangs them for us — it takes a village.”
Pickering pointed out banners hang for two years — the year it is purchased they are displayed on Harding Way and then the following year they are on display in Heise Park. After the second year the banners are then given to the sponsor who purchased them.
“In total, we can hang 338 banners,” Pickering said. She pointed out for 2021 they can take in around 135 new banners.
“Our goal is to always have them up before July 4 and they come down after Veterans Day,” she added.
Regstration this year for the new banners is Thursday, April 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the historic Grace Church, which is right across the street from Brownella Cottage.
“We’re hoping — this is all still fluid with Covid — but we have really high hopes that by April 15 we can hold a socially distanced registration event. This is the plan as it stands right at this moment,” she said.
Banners once again are $47 and Pickering said they are hoping to have the registration form available on their website so it will cut down on a lot of lingering in the church.
“We will also have the form there that night for people to fill out. It’s just very basic,” she said. “We just need the military information that is going to go on the banner and they also need to submit a photo of the veteran in uniform. And make sure the photo is a copy, because we keep these pictures for our archives to preserve Galion history.”
Pickering also pointed out veterans being honored on the banners must have lived in Galion at some point.
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