Dedication of military banners in West Jeff on Nov. 9

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
This is one of the customized banners honoring veterans that will hang from light posts along Main Street in West Jefferson. A banner dedication ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Nov. 9 at the town gazebo, 28 E. Main St.

(Posted Oct. 30, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

A group of West Jefferson residents has found a way to honor military veterans while raising money for a project that will preserve the town’s heritage.

Over the last few months, the West Jefferson Mural Committee has sold banners to be displayed on light posts on Main Street in downtown West Jefferson. Anyone who wanted to honor a veteran could purchase a customized banner. Each side of the 18×41-inch banners depicts an honoree’s name, years of service, military campaign, military branch, and photo.

“We had a really good response,” said Howard Wade Jr., chairman of the Mural Committee.

The banners will be displayed on the 35 light posts on Main Street between Bridge Street on the west end of the village and Mill Road on the east end. The banners feature 63 veterans, along with messages thanking all veterans for their service.

“There’s a lot of details in this project. Brenda Blanton, a member of our committee, took hold of it and headed up the proofing. We had to get it right before we went to print,” Wade said, adding that being a veteran himself, he knows how important those details are. Wade served a total of 35 years in the military with the National Guard, Army Reserves, and active duty with the Army. He is a veteran of the Iraq war.

A banner dedication is slated for 10 a.m. Nov. 9 at the town gazebo, 28 E. Main St., next to West Jefferson’s village hall. All veterans, their relatives and the general public are invited to attend. Jeff Pfeil, a member of the Mural Committee, will serve as emcee. Brig. Gen. Maria Kelly is the guest speaker. The names of all veterans depicted on the banners and their relatives will be announced.

The banner project served as a fundraiser for the Mural Committee, whose objective is to beautify West Jefferson with murals on buildings around town. Their main focus is a large mural to be placed on the wall of the old Blauser building next to the town gazebo. The design will celebrate West Jefferson’s past, present and future. The committee also is coordinating other mural projects for interested building and business owners around town.

The goal, Wade said, is to have the large mural by the gazebo finished by the 2020 West Jefferson Ox Roast, which takes place Labor Day weekend. The committee is busy working on the design and raising money. Hilary Frambes, an artist from Madison County, will create the mural.

The committee meets monthly and welcomes anyone to attend.

“It’s all about community. There might be people out there with ideas we haven’t thought of for the design. It’s important to get the community involved because they’re the ones who are going to see it all the time,” Wade said.

For information about meeting dates, to share ideas or become a sponsor for the large mural, or to inquire about having a mural painted on your building, contact Howard Wade at (614) 202-5145, Patty Blake at, or Brenda Blanton at

The committee has placed donation boxes at businesses and restaurants around town. Donations also may be made by sending checks made out to “West Jefferson Mural Committee” to: P.O. Box 275, West Jefferson, OH 43162. Write “mural donation” in the memo line. All donations are tax deductible.

For updates, visit “West Jefferson Mural Committee” on Facebook.

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