Prairie Township to honor military with banner program

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Prairie Township will be moving forward with a banner program to honor local residents who have severed our country.

At the recent meeting, the trustees approved moving forward with the Military Hometown Hero Banner Program. The program will be a living tribute to recognize Prairie Township residents and graduates of Westland High School who are serving, are veterans or died in the line of duty while serving the United States Armed Forces.

“The banners will be on West Broad Street in the township and will include the service member’s name, image, military branch and rank,” said James Gant, director of the Prairie Township Community Center. “The banners will be displayed from May to August to honor their service.”

Ideally the image on the banners will be honored service members high resolution armed forces photos.
Service members who are deceased and alive can be honored with a banner. The only requirement is that service member must have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard or Coast Guard.

“There will be three different types of banners, an active duty, veteran and memorial banner,” Gant said. “An active duty banner will be designated with a blue star, the veteran banner will have a white star and the memorial banner will have a gold star.”

According to Gant, memorial banners will be designated from those who have died in the line of duty.

The 15 banners will be displayed on the street lamps on West Broad Street and will remind the community of local residents dedication and sacrifice to the United States. Gant said the idea for the program came after seeing another community do this.

“I saw another town do this and thought this was a great thing we should bring to our community,” Gant said. “We are very proud of our service members in Prairie Township and want to recognize them.”

Originally, only service members and veterans from Prairie Township were going to be eligible, but the trustees opened the program to Westland High School graduates.

“Since Westland is part of the JEDZ and Westland is a part of the community, we would like to say all Westland graduates are eligible to participate in the program,” said Tracy Hatmaker, administrator for Prairie Township.

According to Gant, the program will be funded through donations and each banner will cost $85, including installation and removal expenses.

“After the banners are taken down, they will be given to service member or their family,” Gant added.
Some will pay for their own banners. Those unable to pay can use donations collected for the program. Residents also can sponsor a specific banner if they desire.

“This will be a great way to recognize local residents who have sacrificed for our community and country,” Gant said. “It also is our way of thanking them for their service.”

Nominations for banner recognition are due April 2. Those interested in nominating a service member or learning more about how to submit a donation, visit www.prairietownship.org.

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