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Memorial banner project exceeds all expectations

Memorial banners honouring Canadian veterans were sold by the Legion and placed by the Town of Fort Macleod staff on light posts in the downtown core.

A new project honouring Canadian veterans has exceeded the expectations of the Royal Canadian Legion in Fort Macleod.

More than 50 memorial banners, including 26 that were placed on light posts in the downtown core, were sold by the Legion.

That is more than four times the original goal set by Legion manager Liz Gill when the memorial banner project was launched.

“I’m actually overwhelmed,” Gill said Friday. “It’s amazing how much this community supports veterans.”

“Everybody seems to see the importance of this project. It makes you proud to live here.”

The 26.5-inch by 54-inch street banners sold for $220 and the 12-inch by 24-inch indoor banners sold for $95.

Proceeds from the banner project go to the Legion Poppy Fund, which is restricted to helping veterans and their families.

Gill said the response to the project was strong right from the start.

“Everybody was just over the moon excited about it,” Gill said.

“Some people bought four and five house banners for their family,” Gill said. “They’re giving them to their grandkids so the next generation can remember their family members who served.”

Each of the two-sided banners has a photo of the individual being recognized, the Legion and Town of Fort Macleod logos, the Maple Leaf and/or the Union Jack.

Most of the veterans who appear on this first run of banners served during the Second World War, although there is one who was in Afghanistan.

Gill praised the support the Town of Fort Macleod, including interim chief administrative officer Liisa Gillingham and director of operations Adrian Pedro, provided to the Legion on this project.

“They have been phenomenal,” Gill said. “They certainly stepped up and never even thought about charging us.”

The banners are to hang from the end of October until the end of November, which is designated by the Legion as the Period of Remembrance.

There are still 18 light posts that do not have memorial banners, so people can order now to have them in time for next year. Contact Liz Gill at 403-553-3121 or legion46@shaw.ca to place an order.

If more than 44 banners are made, the Legion will investigate some additional ways to display them in a prominent way, such as a temporary structure.

“We’re definitely going to have to come up with something,” Gill said. “If somebody wants to memorialize a veteran we need to make sure that happens.”

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