Military photo banners will fly on Main Street from May to November –
By Patricia Beech –
Photo by Mark Carpenter –
The Seaman community is kicking off its Memorial Day celebrations by hanging banners along Main Street that display full-military-dress photographs of local veterans.
The 2 x 3 foot tribute banners feature veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and lists each veteran’s branch of service, dates of service, rank, honors, and medals awarded.
Seaman joins 66 other towns across America participating in the military banner tribute program honoring men and women honorably discharged from the armed forces.
The banners will remain in place between Memorial Day and Veterans Day in November.
The tribute banner project is being spearheaded by Justin Schmitz, Office Manager at First State Bank in Seaman. Schmitz, who is originally from Blanchester, brought the idea to Seaman from his home town where the program began four years ago.
Schmitz said the program was such a success that the number of banners the town hangs has increased from 30 to 266.
“The first year they were only on Main Street, but now they’re on every street in Blanchester,” he said, “When you drive through town it just makes you swell with pride.”
Thus far, 50 banners hang along the length of Main Street in Seaman, but Schmitz says registration was re-opened after numerous people expressed interest in the project.
“When we began hanging them, people started getting involved, they showed up with tractors and bucket trucks – it was an awesome thing to see,” he said.
Seaman resident Donna Jones, whose grandson served in Iraq, says she thinks the banners are a great idea, “I’d like to see more of them,” she said. “It’s a great way to honor the people who protect our freedom.”
The initial cost to join the program is $125, and $10 each year thereafter. Participation includes one 24 x 36 inch military banner, printed on front and back. Brackets required for public display are included.
Participants are also eligible to purchase a 12″ x 18″ personal lawn banner for $14 each. Hardware is not included. All banners on display must be ordered through the program.
The village of Seaman, the North Adams Football Organization, the American Legion, Auxiliary, and BPA are not responsible for the banners.
“Each family will have to replace their banner if it becomes tattered, torn or destroyed,” Schmitz said. Participants will have the opportunity to re-order if the banners become unsuitable for public display.
To have your friend or loved one included in the tribute banner project, either mail the completed application, with military photo enclosed to North Adams Football Organization, Inc, c/o Justin Schmitz, 2323 St. Rt. 770, Seaman, Ohio (checks payable to North Adams Football Organization), or call (937) 725-1243 for more information or to schedule an appointment at First State Bank in Seaman. If leaving a message, allow 48 hours for the return call. Visit the tribute banner project website at troopbanners.com