MILTON — The last time Rita Takeuchi was driving through her hometown of Hillsboro, Ohio, she was amazed by the many banners honoring military members of the community hanging from lampposts throughout the city.
"(The banners) looked so patriotic as they expressed a deep sense of pride in local veterans," Takeuchi wrote in a press release.
She started thinking that Milton could do the same thing.
Takeuchi is the Chapter Regent for the Three Rivers Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Milton. After her hometown visit, an idea developed into a partnership with the city of Milton and DAR that created the Veterans Tribute Banner project.
With unanimous approval from the City Council, the city and DAR found an American company based out of Cape Coral, Florida, named Military Tribute Banners to provide the banners.
"The city of Milton is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Veteran Tribute Banners. We appreciate all of our veterans and are happy to participate," said Pamela Holt, public information officer for the city of Milton.
Each banner is individualized to honor a specific person with his or her name, branch of service and a photograph.
The city will then hang the two-sided 44-inch-by-20-inch banners from lampposts throughout the downtown area prior to Memorial Day 2020 and leave them up until Veterans Day 2020, according to Takeuchi.
The backside of each banner will say the same thing: "To All Of Our Honored American Veterans, Thank You." Once the banners are removed, they will be given to the families of the honored or sponsors as a keepsake.
The cost to sponsor a banner is $85. Individuals, businesses and churches are encouraged to sponsor a veteran, living or deceased, local or not, as long as they have an honorable discharge, explained Takeuchi.
"These projects provide a tangible demonstration of a community's respect and gratitude for what these men and women have done for our nation," Takeuchi said.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a banner should visit https://militarytributebanners.org/current-programs/milton-fl.html or contact Three Rivers Chapter Regent Takeuchi at Srtake@bellsouth.net.
The application deadline is April 15, 2020, but the expectation is that spaces will sell out before that date.