Editor’s Note: Scroll down for the link to a downloadable list of all 2021 Honour Our Veterans banners.
Fifty-nine banners honouring the service of Valley veterans were the results of the first Honour Our Veterans banner program run by the Royal Canadian Legion Barry’s Bay Branch 406. Veterans, their family members and community banner sponsors admired the display at a reception at the Legion on September 25. Above: banners on display in Legion Hall
Branch 406 President Heather Poliquin (See inset) welcomed those who came to view the banners, saying, “We were pleasantly surprised to have such great support for the project.” She said MV Councillors Mark Willmer and Ernie Peplinski had dropped in earlier to view the banners. She said the banners would be installed in the next few days, and she thanked MV Township staff for placing the banners on the brackets located throughout the Madawaska Valley and the Barry’s Bay BIA for allowing the use of the brackets to hang the banners. She said, “More importantly I want to thank all of you for purchasing banners honouring the veterans in your life.”
Poliquin credited past MV Recreation & Community Development Co-ordinator Stephanie Plebon for bringing the program to her attention. She also thanked Sue Lauren of the Perth Legion for helping her start the Barry’s Bay program.
In her address Poliquin said: “The program is not unique to our region but has been gaining popularity over the past five years or so…. The program will be an ongoing legacy project. Through displaying the banners, we hope to engage the community in honouring and remembering veterans in order to ensure continued recognition and respect by future generations. We want the younger generations to understand that there are people within their town and neighbourhood that lost their lives during war, served in combat or served in the armed forces. Their contribution and sacrifice provided the life that we live. The program will continue next year so if you missed sponsoring a veteran or an active service person, you can do so next year. Details will be in local media and on our Facebook page.”
Branch 406 Veterans Service Officer Dave Eagles devised a system to hang each banner so that veterans and their families could have their photo taken beside it. Attendees patiently lined up for their photo opp and Eagles was busy not only hanging the banners but juggling phones and cameras for the veterans, their friends and families.