By Kathleen Knowles
A lot of good news has come to the BLUE WATER AREA FALLEN HEROES banner project over the past 36 hours. Some of which won’t make much sense to the average citizen, but for those in the trenches of the project, it is welcome communication. Some will be released over the next couple of weeks, and a couple of items will be delivered at that time.
1) At this date, we have 331 images scanned of the 621 photos we were looking for when this project started almost four years ago. From day one, we knew we would never get them all, but we set out to capture as many as humanly possible.
2) We received a phone call from China Township resident, Jim Freeland, who initially provided us with the photo of a WWII relative who died in service. Once the photo was scanned, he stayed after us asking for a list of area GIs whose photos we couldn’t locate. His call today indicated he has 17 images on a thumb drive waiting for us to pick up! He has spent the past six weeks researching Ancestry.com. We can only hope each of them is clear enough to use for the project.
3) This past week, the project was gifted a framed actual front page of the August 31st, 1918 edition of the PORT HURON TIMES HERALD with multiple images of area WWI casualties. There were six images we do not have, so the framed front page went directly to ERNEST CAMERA SHOPPE to have their magic applied. If we add #2 & #3 to our total, that would give us 354 images. Of course, the downside of this is that it will require raising more money, and that brings us to #4.
4) Today, at the monthly Commander’s Club drawing at Charles A Hammond Post 8 American Legion, attendees donated $132 to the Banner project. At this same gathering, Post Commander Rich Davis announced that during the month of March, Post 8 would be having numerous fundraisers for the banner project. The intent is to have each event open to the public. Post 8 will provide a jpeg image (flier) to be shared on social media. Post 8 has also placed a collection/donation jar in the barroom for those who wish to do so. A reminder if you’d like to make your contribution tax-deductible, simply make your check payable to the COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF ST CLAIR COUNTY, then on the memo line write B.W Fallen Heroes Banner Project. We have a long way to go and only ten weeks to reach it. We will make daily deposits. Every cent raised goes to the Community Foundation for this project.
5) We have been approached by a “Mom & Pop” business in downtown Port Huron that wants to be involved with the project during that two-week window. Initial conversations on their part would be to put together a display in their windows that would compliment the banners on the main street. It tells us that we’re not the only ones who get this project. The best way to take in the optics of this two-week tribute is not from driving a car, but instead walking the main streets and looking into the eyes of these young people. Taking in the opportunity to stop somewhere at the many “Mom & Pops” to browse, eat, or have a beverage.
There is much more coming although currently in the planning stages. Once confirmed, we will hit the media and post accordingly.
Remember, your/our project is the only one of its kind in the entire USA that is county-wide.
Please support this very worthwhile program and honor those that have died in service of our Nation! If you would like to donate to the Banner Project, send a check to:
Community Foundation of St. Clair County
Banner Program Fund
500 Water St. Port Huron, MI 48060