Kingsville banner project is a salute to those who served

by Kyle Reid

A new banner project commemorating the sacrifices of local veterans was unveiled outside of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 188 in Kingsville on Saturday.

  The launch of the Kingsville Salute to Veterans Banner project included a bagpipe procession outside of the Legion for the unveiling of the first ceremonial banner. Veteran Lt.-Col. Murray Stewart, who was on hand for the celebration, was honoured on the inaugural banner.

The banner project committee also unveiled an additional 15 banners at the ceremony, well over their initial goal of 10 banners. The remaining banners will be displayed around the municipality this week, and committee members expect more banners to be supported by local sponsors and erected around Kingsville over the coming years.

  Mary-Maureen Atkin, Veteran Service Officer with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 188, worked alongside Stewart, his wife, and her husband, Jay, on the banner committee. Atkin encouraged families of veterans to come forward to see their loved ones honoured as part of the project.

  “Can we say enough about our veterans?” asked an emotional Atkin, whose father, Sgt. Maj. Maurice Snook, was honoured on one of the initial banners. “They are the reason we are here today.”

  Atkin said the committee worked hard to unveil the banners this year in an effort to honour the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice. With the support of the Town of Kingsville, the committee’s work will continue, with more banners expected to be displayed annually around Remembrance Day.

  The committee is also working to create a biographical book containing information on the veterans honoured in the banner project. They are planning to share the Salute to Veterans book with Kingsville students, residents, and other organizations each year prior to Remembrance Day.

  Atkin thanked the members of the Kingsville community who lent their support to the project.

“This is a wonderful community effort,” Atkin said. “What a magnificent way to pay tribute to our veterans [and] promote a sense of community, pride, and heritage.”

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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