There’s already a lot that should catch your eye while driving or walking through downtown Imlay City and the return of the Downtown Development Authority’s Hometown Heroes banner program honoring veterans just adds to that.
The tastefully composed banners, found on the city’s lamp posts, feature a current or former service member’s name, photo and branch they served in. Special designations, through the use of colored stars, are made for those honorably discharged, those who died in the line of duty and active duty members.
The banners can be found within the downtown district which encompasses the business district along Third Street and Almont Avenue. There’s a mix of current and vintage photos and it’s interesting to see a wide range of eras in which men and women served.
St. Clair County has recently launched a similar banner program called Blue Water Area Fallen Heroes. It seeks to honor the 580 service members who died in the line of duty since World War I.
These are all noble ways of publicly honoring veterans and the family and friends of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Seeing the names and faces of neighbors and friends on these banners will hopefully serve as a timely reminder to reach out and share our thanks for their service.
The Downtown Development Authority, local veteran groups, volunteers who assisted with photos and all those who donated to the program or served as a banner sponsor should be commended for their efforts to make the banner project come to life.
Whether it’s through recognition programs like this one or any other initiative, it’s evident that our communities want to honor the sacrifices of local men and women who’ve worn a uniform in a simple but meaningful way.