Nineteen banners are flying proudly along Claremore Main Street in honor of local veterans.
Main Street Executive Director Jacob Garrison said he presented the idea to the community in February, offering people the opportunity to purchase a banner to honor their loved ones. The banners would be mounted on the 19 light poles that line Claremore Main Street.
“We had kind of a general template but we were able to customize it any way they wanted with the military branch, their rank, the years they served. Additionally there were a few people that requested things like purple hearts, killed in action, where they served, things like that,” Garrison said. “We wanted to make it customizable because we know how important it is for those who want to recognize a loved one.”
The vibrant banners were met with enthusiasm and support in the community and make an impact to passers-by, but Garrison took it one step further.
“I asked all the people that purchased a banner to send me a little write-up about their loved one. Once all the banners are up we will post photos of the banners and share the story from the family so we can individually honor each person that has a banner in their honor,” he said.
Garrison described the experience as humbling— “What we’ve done is so, so insignificant compared to what these people have done for our country. People are telling us thank you but really we’re the ones that are beyond grateful.”
He said the banners will remain on display through the July 4 season.
“When they’re taken down they will be given to the family as a keepsake,” he said, adding that he’s grateful to be able to share these stories.
He said when the project was announced, the community jumped on board and scooped up all 19 locations very quickly.
“We were overwhelmed with the reception,” he said. “Judging from the response we immediately knew this is something the community wanted to see and we want to do it again next year and keep sharing stories year after year.”