The Blue Water Area Fallen Heroes Community Banner Program is celebrating a milestone this memorial day when the first series of hometown hero banners will be hung in downtown Port Huron.
“The fact that we were able to raise the funds needed to print these banners while COVID-19 presented a gauntlet for doing any kind of major fundraiser defies comprehension. Post 8 and I had always hoped that the citizens would support the project, and the fact they did makes this a worthy County-wide project.” says Ed Weichsler, Program Advisor and U.S. Air Force Veteran.
St. Clair County has over 580 service members who died in service to their country from World War I to the current gulf war conflict. The community banners will feature fallen heroes’ photograph, rank, name, branch of service, war conflict, age, and city in which they resided.
The amazing banners will be hung for the first time the week of May 24th and will stay up through June 4th.
As Weichsler collected pictures and information of local fallen heroes he heard many meaningful comments from family members, many with tears in their eyes, “Do you know, outside of a family member, you guys are the first to even mention his/her name in decades?”
One family member of a fallen hero was so moved by the program that she said, “We’re coming home to have my picture taken under dad’s photo.” She hasn’t been in Port Huron since 1952.
“We love the idea that this project is inclusive of all areas of St. Clair County instead of just one community, it’s an honor to contribute to this project,” said another donor.
Looking ahead at the total fundraising goal for the banner project, Weichsler says, “First and foremost was being able to print the number of banners we have photos for. We anticipated that would be about $30,000. That said, our next goal is to raise additional funds to address wear and tear and funds to cover the cost of banners for fallen heroes photos that we still need.”
The Blue Water Area Fallen Heroes Community Banner Program is a fund held at the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. The program was brought forward by Ed Weichsler, Program Advisor and U.S. Air Force Veteran and an elite student leadership class project from Croswell- Lexington High School as a way to honor our community’s military heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to their county and promote civic pride in our community.
Donate online to the Blue Water Area Fallen Heroes Community Banner Program below or send a check to the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, 500 Water Street, Port Huron, MI 48060 with Banner Program Fund noted on the memo line.