By Kathleen Knowles
In the long and proud history of the United States, it has been the Armed Forces members who have been responsible for the American people to live in freedom. In November 2018, Blue Water Healthy Living honored veterans for their sacrifice.
There is another group of soldiers, sailors, airman and marines that should never be forgotten by any of us …… our Fallen Heroes. Thousands of members of our Armed Forces never returned from the wars in which they were sent to defend freedom. They paid the ultimate sacrifice. It would be remiss and an injustice to forget them. A group of volunteers
The Blue Water Area Fallen Heroes is a community banner program to recognize and honor over five-hundred-fifty military service members killed in action from World War I to the current conflict. All must have resided in cities, townships and villages across St. Clair County.
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After working on it for over a year, it was time to make it public. The Blue Water Area Fallen Heroes Community Banner Program was announced on Veteran’s Day in November of this past year.
Nancy Deising, an advisor who heads the program, explained how the process progressed. “We began by taking the names from the monuments at Pine Grove Park and Memorial Stadium at Port Huron High School. The list of service members helped begin the process of reaching out to the families or anyone who might have knowledge of these members killed in action. It was done through posting on all the pages of Facebook and word of mouth. A hotline was set up to handle the flurry of phone calls in which people could leave messages. From these messages, we then set up a meeting with the families.”
The first part of the program is securing the photographs of the service members for the banners. If families cannot provide a photograph, then the military seal will be used in its place. A high school photograph can also be used. Once, Mr. Weischler receives a photo, it is scanned by a commercial scanner and will be kept on a computer until such time the banners are printed.
The banners of each member will include a picture, the branch of the service they were in, their rank, the conflict they participated in and the city they resided. Each banner will be approximately three and 1/2 to four feet tall and two feet wide. Once completed, they will be placed in the cities, townships
The desire is to have them placed on the main street of each community, township
Once they have 300 banners, they will have enough to put up across the county. The goal is to have them up by a week before Memorial Day of 2021. If 300 banners are secured before then, it is possible it could happen sooner. The time frame is up to the public. It will not stop there. Aspirations are to continue and collect as many as 500 banners. With the help of the families of the fallen, every known Fallen Hero will be honored.
All banners will go up in each community at the same time and come down together as well. It is intended to be a yearly event to honor the sacrifice of those who never returned from the war.
How will a loved one know where to find the banner of their Fallen Hero? Ms. Deising explained a “map” will be created to give the exact location of each banner so the family members can locate their honored hero.
Part 2 ……………..
When meeting with the families, stories they share are being documented which will hopefully lead to the second part of the project. A publication is planned with the biographies of those whose families are willing to provide the information. Mr. Weischler shared one such story about a young man from Smiths Creek who attempted to sign up for the
This project is one which, hopefully, will follow up the banner project in another tribute to the Fallen Heroes of St. Clair County. Right now, however, they are concentrating strictly on the Banner Program. The process at this time is to find the families of the Fallen Heroes and collect their photos as well as the information to be displayed on the banners. Those families in St. Clair County who have a Fallen Hero beginning with World War I to the current conflict, and are interested in honoring their hero, can contact the hotline at 810-985-2007.
Those who would like to help with the project can go to the Pine Grove Park War Memorial and take pictures of the names. (be sure to write down the war) When conversing with others, if
It is the intent of Blue Water Healthy Living to support this project to the fullest. We can’t think of a better way to honor those in our community who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We encourage all those in St. Clair County to get involved with this very worthy project. Below is contact information for all those who are interested in honoring our Fallen Heroes.
Those who want their Fallen Hero honored with a banner, contact the hotline:
A meeting will be set up.
Citizens who would like to donate for the project can send a check
Community Foundation St. Clair County
500 Water St.
Port Huron, MI 48060
Don’t forget to put Community Banner Project on the memo line!
For information regarding the project, email Nancy Deising
Check back with Blue Water Healthy Living for monthly updates on this very worthy program!
Kathleen Knowles is a life-long resident of Port Huron and a 1973 graduate of Port Huron High School. After attending St. Clair County Community College, she has worked for credit unions all of her life as well as a professional dog show handler, known for handling Pekingese. Kathleen has been writing fiction for years as a hobby, having posted many stories online.