American Legion Post 38’s military tribute banners will return to Haddonfield in November.
The idea to honor service members during National Veteran and Military Families Month began two years ago, after a proposal from Haddonfield Memorial High School graduate Kelsie Meeker.
“Everybody loved it,” said Lisa Quanci, civil volunteer and public relations representative for Post 38. “People have seen it in other states, in other parts of New Jersey, and we were eager to get it started for us.
“(Meeker) did a lot of legwork as far as finding the supplier, asked around and did her due diligence,” Quanci added, “and once she got the presentation to the legion, the members were wholeheartedly in support of it.”
The banners played a role last year in the borough receiving the We Value Our Veterans Community Award from the state’s Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. This year’s signs will be the same as last – at 18 by 36 inches and in full color – and will feature the honoree’s photo and military information.
Banners will also include the names of their sponsoring families or businesses and will be displayed along the light posts down Kings Highway East. This year, the tributes will expand to Haddon Avenue and hang until late in November, around Thanksgiving.
Joe McElroy, commander of the Post 38, encouraged people to honor relatives and friends who have served in the military.
“Even if the person is not alive, if he’s an uncle who served, let the townspeople know,” he suggested. “This guy deserves a little credit, a little honor and it makes us a bigger community.”
The banners have been so well received that this year’s additions will amount to about 40 signs.
“It’s basically doubling the coverage,” Quanci explained.
The post is also collecting stories about the honorees with QR codes that will link to their information and the locations of their banners.
“The stories I’m compiling are whatever militaries someone wants to share with us,” Quanci noted. “Whatever that person or family would like to say about that person’s service. It can be as short as a couple of paragraphs.”
To share stories, Quanci at email@example.com.
To order a military tribute banner, visit https://militarytributebanners.org/new-jersey/haddonfield-nj.html.
Deadline for orders is expected to be at the end of September.