Sunbury to hang banners for veterans countywide
SUNBURY - Two veterans from eastern Northumberland County will be represented as part of Sunbury Revitalization Inc.'s Northumberland County Hometown Veterans Banners.
Jess Runkle, Elm Street Manager with SRI, said the deadline for those interested in purchasing banners for veterans and active service men and women is March 22.
"It's important to support our veterans and show it, that we're behind them and we appreciate all their service to our country," she said.
So far, Sgt. Michael Edwards Johns, of Kulpmont, and Fred Joesph Zeiser, of Shamokin, are the individuals from the eastern portion of the county who will be honored on the banners.
Johns served in the Army during the Vietnam era from 1967 until 1970 and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Army Accommodation Medal, Good Conduct, National Defense Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, sharpshooter badge for M-14 and M-16 and a marksmen badge 45 pistol.
The banner was dedicated to him by his wife, Ruth.
Zeiser served in the Navy during World War II and was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal and American Area Campaign Medal. The News-Item records show Zeiser passed away nearly three years ago.
The banner was dedicated by the Zeiser-Diamond family.
Otherwise, there are 22 banners for veterans from Sunbury, two from Northumberland, one from Danville, one from Port Trevorton and one from Erie.
The 18-by-36-inch banners will each feature a picture of a service member with ties to Northumberland County and can include their name, age, rank, area of service, time of service, hometown, honors and medals and sponsor's name.
The banners will be hung on light posts on Front and Market streets from May until November. There is an unveiling ceremony tentatively scheduled for May 4 in which a speaker will be invited and a map will be provided for visitors to locate each banner. In November, the banners will be returned to the families or friends who paid for them.
Each banner costs $200, but if someone had a banner last year, SRI will re-hang the banner for $100.
Runkle said the idea was first brought to Sunbury by former Elm Street Manager Kristen McLaughlin, who noticed a similar project in Lock Haven.
Participants can register online at www.SRIPA.com or pick up the registration forms at Susquehanna Bank locations in Sunbury, Shamokin, Kulpmont, Mount Carmel, Milton and Pillow, VFW Thomas Brill Post in Sunbury, the American Legion Post 201 in Sunbury or the Northumberland County Veteran Affairs in Sunbury.
All applications must be submitted to the SRI office, 225 Market St., in person or by mail, and any living veteran being honored by the banners must sign a photo waiver.
There is a limit of 150 banners, which is the amount of poles on Front and Market streets that can be used, Runkle said.
For more information, call SRI at 286-7768.