Originally published August 2017
This November, Clinton is putting its support for local veterans on full display. Forty-eight banners will be hung along the Clinton Parkway this Veterans Day as part of the “Honoring Our Heroes” project put on by the Clinton Visitor Center. This program is a chance for Clintonians to honor those who have served our country in the U.S. Armed Forces, Air Force, Navy, National Guard, or Reserve Units.
The 24” x 54” vinyl banners will include a picture of the veteran in uniform, their name, branch, era, and their years of service. They will go up on Veterans Day 2017 and be displayed until Dec. 1, and they will reappear on patriotic holidays in 2018.
“The idea for a veteran banner program came about when Mayor Fisher was out of town and viewed a city paying tribute to their local veterans with banners,” says Clinton Visitor Center Director Masha Barham.
Barham says the Visitor Center has done several projects to honor veterans since she became director five years ago. In November 2012, the “Fallon Comrade” sculpture by Dr. Samuel Marshall Gore was unveiled at the Clinton Visitor Center for Veterans Day. The sculpture depicted Marine Joe Albritton as he carried fellow Clintonian Marine Homer Ainsworth from the battlefield during the Korean War.
“The unveiling of the sculpture was a wonderful experience, and to have this sculpture at the Clinton Visitor Center is such an honor,” Barham says. “That year I set a goal to have a time to honor all our veterans each year.”
Since 2012, the Clinton Visitor Center has hosted an activity or display each year on the Sunday prior to Veterans Day.
“We always have special patriotic music, wonderful veteran tribute addresses by outstanding military officials as we gather by the sculpture. The DAR has provided light refreshments many years,” Barham says.
In 2015, people purchased ribbons for $2.00 to honor military veterans, active duty personnel, as well as first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and EMT personnel. “The trees behind the ‘Fallen Comrade’ sculpture were named ‘The Tribute Trees,’ and we hung 400 yellow ribbons on the trees in honor of America’s heroes,” says Barham.
In 2016, Marine veterans Bob and Richard Catlett displayed “Mississippi’s Faces of the Fallen,” which included a photograph and information of 105 military service members who died during the War on Terrorism from 1991 to 2013. Boy scout Noah Martinolich helped Barham direct the program for his Eagle Scout service project.
Residents have until Aug. 31 to turn in forms and pay for one of the 48 available spots.
Online order forms can be filled out and paid for via http://www.clintonms.org/veteranstributebanner
or can be picked up at the Clinton Visitor Center at 1300 Pinehaven Road. For more information, contact the VC at 601.924.2221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.