GALION — Registration for the 2021 Galion veterans banner program is scheduled for Thursday, April 15, according to officials from the Galion Historical Society and Museum.
Initiated in 2018 by the historical society, 2021 is the last year people can honor their veteran family members and friends with a commemorative banner displayed on Harding Way and in Heise Park.
Registration will be conducted from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 15 at the historic Grace Episcopal Church and Rectory, located at the corner of South Union and West Walnut streets. The registration fee is $47. Registration forms are available on the Galion Historical Society and Museum website galionhistory.com. For information, call 419-468-9338.
Tanesha Pickering, director of the Galion Historical Society, said registration forms will be available at Grace Church on the evening of registration.
“We will 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 noted that the program was designed to be a three-year project. She said she got the idea for the project when she and her husband were on a road trip in southern Ohio and they drove through a little town and saw veteran banners hanging.
Pickering said it was the first time she’d ever seen the concept.
“It definitely caught my attention and I was thinking about it later on and wondered how we could do it in Galion,” Pickering said.
Pickering said she approached the historical society board about it and asked if it was something they could do in Galion. 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 added. “The Galion Line Department hangs them for us — it takes a village.”
Pickering said banners hang for two years. The first year they’re displayed on Harding Way and the second year in Heise Park. After the second year, the banners are given to the sponsor who purchased them.
Pickering said a total of 338 banners can be hung. Approximately 135 new banners can be accepted for 2021.
“Our goal is to always have them up before July 4 and they come down after Veterans Day,” she added.
Pickering said veterans being honored on the banners must have lived in Galion at some point in their lives.