BUCKHANNON - The Walk of Valor - the banners depicting local veterans that currently hang in Jawbone Park - made such an impact this week that more than one viewer shed tears of gratitude, Create Buckhannon volunteers said at a Thursday meeting.
"Quite a few veterans down there (at Jawbone Park) I was talking to had tears in their eyes and frogs in their throat and everything like that," Buckhannon City Councilman and Create Buckhannon volunteer Ron Pugh said, adding that many people approached him to express their thanks that day.
As veterans finished marching in Monday's Veterans Day Parade, many caught a glimpse of the Walk of Valor banners from the market area in Jawbone Park - the red, white and blue vinyl gleaming in their eyes in the same way sunlight caught the tears trickling down their cheeks.
The strips of vinyl that swayed when the wind blew became more than just banners to some. It was a simple sentiment, a small token, that made a big difference. Some Create Buckhannon volunteers said that viewers have told them it was the best thing that Create Buckhannon has yet done.
"Veterans Day this year was really the most special day to me in a long time," Pugh said, "and I thank everybody who helped put that up."
Create Buckhannon initiated the project, giving faces and names to current and past veterans. Volunteer CJ Rylands said he expects the number of banners that make up the Walk of Valor will more than double to about 270 by next year.
"The Sign Guy really went above and beyond in helping us make it all happen," Rylands said.
The Sign Guy, a Buckhannon-based graphics business, produced all the banners, each of which features a picture of a veteran with ties to the local community. The business also printed over 400 magnets and about 180 smaller souvenir banners.
The expected growth of interest in the banners left Create Buckhannon volunteers wondering how to hang all the banners in the limited space as more and more requests come in for the future years.
Contact Melissa Toothman by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.