37 new Memorial Veteran’s Banners are on the way to the streets of Parry Sound.
The Town and local High School, in partnership with Museum on Tower Hill, the Downtown Parry Sound Business Association and the Canadian Legion Branch 117 revealed the Memorial Banner program for the Community Remembrance Project’s second expansion on Oct. 27.
Jamie McGarvey, Parry Sound Mayor, says the program currently has 106 banners up throughout the streets of Parry Sound with last week’s expansion, set for October 2024, honouring an additional 74 veterans.
“I really appreciate that staff were able to identify some new locations for the banners. There has been such an uptake on this that it’s absolutely amazing and there were more people that definitely wanted to get their friends or family members on a banner to say thank you for the service that they gave to their country,” he says.
McGarvey thanked Rick Lund, the high school’s history department and town staff that helped put the program together.
“In identifying the poles [for the new banners], there was a lot of negotiation that had to happen because they’re not all town poles. Some of them belong to Lakeland or other companies. Those all had to be negotiated beforehand to make sure that everyone was good with the fact that the banners would go up. The cooperation out there in the community and those other businesses is greatly appreciated,” he says.
Launched in 2017, the program was initiated by Lund, along with other teachers and students involved in Parry Sound High School’s Vimy 100 trip to honour and remember the individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice Canada in a war or on a peacekeeping mission. Lund says the intent is to help everyone make personal connections with our veterans.
“We want to show that veterans were people just like us, who lived in the same homes we live in, but when called upon, they did something extraordinary; they chose to risk their lives to save the world from fascism for the good of everyone, including all of us today. We should see them as more than just names on a cenotaph. They were real people, with hopes and dreams just like us, who made the ultimate sacrifice,” he says.
Lund says if there is a demand, the school will consider opening the program up to the public to allow families to sponsor additional signs to honour other veterans at their former homes.
The town says the Program Expansion application process will open on November 10 at 8:30am on www.parrysound.ca with physical forms made available at the Town Office.
Officials say all new banner orders will be sold on a first come, first served basis with sponsoring one veteran on one side of a banner costing $135 and mini replica banners going for $30 each.
For more information on the Memorial Veterans Banner Program, please contact April McNamara, Manager of Parks & Recreation, [email protected].