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About 90 military banners have been sold; they should be up in the borough by Memorial Day

By Dan Miller danmiller@pressandjournal.com
Posted 4/19/17

Banners paying tribute to military personnel from today and long ago have been ordered and should be up in Middletown by Memorial Day, Councilor Diana McGlone has told the Press & …

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About 90 military banners have been sold; they should be up in the borough by Memorial Day

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Banners paying tribute to military personnel from today and long ago have been ordered and should be up in Middletown by Memorial Day, Councilor Diana McGlone has told the Press & Journal.

Almost 90 banners are being made by Rileighs Outdoor Decor of Allentown, a company from which the borough has ordered banners in the past.

The borough in 2016 also purchased from Rileighs about $10,000 in lights for the town Christmas tree that was put up on the square, McGlone said.

The banners were purchased for $85 each by family members to honor veterans. Some area businesses also sponsored a banner on behalf of a family, said McGlone, who organized the banner drive.

McGlone’s son Dan received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat while in Afghanistan, while the councilor’s father is a retired Army colonel.

The banners are to be hung on utility poles and street lights along the main streets of the borough; including North and South Union and Main streets, and possibly other streets such as Vine, Ann and Emaus.

There could be other locations as well, based upon comments that were made by other borough councilors and by Terrance Jefferson, council’s liaison to Middletown Area School District, during council’s April 4 meeting.

Some of the banners should be put in areas where people congregate, such as public parks, suggested Jefferson, who is a sophomore at Middletown Area High School.

Exactly where all the banners will be is still something of a work in progress, McGlone said. Everyone buying a banner will be told what street their banner is on, she added.

The banners will stay up until the fall, perhaps through Veterans Day. Then they will be taken down and kept in storage by the borough over the winter until they go up again before Memorial Day 2018. The banners will then come down in the fall of 2018, and at that point be returned to the people who purchased them, McGlone said.

The response to the banners was “overwhelming,” she said. Close to 30 people wanted to buy banners after the deadline to order them had passed.

She hopes that the borough will provide more opportunities to buy banners in the future for these people who could not buy them during the first go-round.

The banners honor veterans from every major conflict from World War I to present-day veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, McGlone said. One of the banners honors a man from Middletown who was killed in the Vietnam conflict.

Several female veterans are also being honored by the banners, including one woman from World War II.

Peace-time veterans are also honored, in that the program is to pay tribute to all veterans, regardless of whether or not they served in combat, McGlone noted.

“It is a very patriotic way for us to say thank you and to remember and pause what they went through for their country, and how important it is to be patriotic, to love your country and to have a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood and camaraderie,” McGlone said.

The $85 covers the full cost of the banners, including taxes, shipping and handling, storage fees, and borough staff time, McGlone said. It also covers some of the cost of the brackets that the borough will need to buy, because not enough of the poles in town have the right equipment to hang the banners.

Borough Public Works Director Greg Wilsbach has estimated that the borough will need to buy 24 or more “arms” for the banners at $55 per arm.

Any funds left over from purchase of the banners should go to defray costs to the borough for the project, Borough Manager Ken Klinepeter has suggested.

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