Battleford banners honour local veterans

A row of banners featuring the pictures of local veterans can now be seen on the light standards of 22nd Street in Battleford.

It is part of the program called Honour Our Veterans, initiated by the Fred Light Museum. The banners were unveiled at a ceremony at Battleford Legion Hall Friday, Nov. 1, and will be up until after Nov. 11, Remembrance Day.

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A total of 50 veterans of the First and Second World Wars are being honoured with their photos on banners placed on 25 lampposts in the town. According to Bernadette Leslie, manager of the Fred Light Museum, the banners had been hung the week before. The banners had been purchased by family members in honour of their loved ones.

Other banner programs have been in place elsewhere in Canada and the world. According to Tim Popp, Legion 9 vice-president who spoke at the event, he noticed a number of banners on a two-week bus tour through France and Belgium during the Battle of Vimy Ridge 100th Anniversary. On the way in Mons, Belgium, were several banners hanging from lampposts of pictures of soldiers from the First World War, including a number of Canadians.

This program, according to Popp’s speaking notes, “brings more visual attention to the veterans who served our country in wartime and to some who never returned only to be buried in lands from afar. It is a way of saying ‘Thank you for your service.’”

At a Battleford town council meeting Monday, Councillor Susan McLean Tady noted there was a “wonderful turnout” for the unveiling.

“The work these people do is just incredible,” she said, referring to the Fred Light Museum board. The banners were “very appreciated” by many people, and McLean Tady added that there was interest expressed by even more people who wanted banners for next year. 

Angie Friedrich at Powerprint designed and printed the banners and programs, and McLean Tady said Friedrich is also making smaller banners of the ones on the street that could be sent to family members. 

Mayor Leslie noted he was in Regina recently and there were banners up there with names of individuals who fought in the wars, but no pictures. “They certainly don’t have the personal impact that ours does,” Leslie said.

All photos by Averil Hall.

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