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Banners honoring veterans to be displayed in Sewickley

| Monday, May 8, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
An example of the banners that will hang in Sewickley.
An example of the banners that will hang in Sewickley.

You've probably seen them hanging from lamp posts in other small communities: banners honoring and memorializing veterans from the community.

The banners have popped up in places such as Bridgeville, Carnegie, Dormont, Ross and Scott.

Terri Tunick noticed there were none in Sewickley, and decided to change that.

“My father fought in World War II, but I didn't really know that much about it because he never talked about it,” Tunick said. She and her brother discovered their dad had received several medals during the war. “I wanted to find a way to honor him, and I thought the first step for honoring our veterans should be visibility.”

Tunick reached out to Sewickley VFW Post 5756 to gauge their interest.

“I was a little embarrassed that I didn't know where the VFW was in Sewickley,” she admitted. The members were in agreement with the idea and helped Tunick work on the application process.

The officially-named Sewickley Military Banner program will create double-sided 24-inch by 36-inch banners, to be displayed between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The borough has agreed to hang, take down and store the banners, which will memorialize veterans from all wars: World War I, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Proceeds from sales will go toward programs that help veterans in Sewickley.

Gary Farole, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, worked on the program with Tunick.

“We thought it was a great thing to honor them,” he said of the banner program. “We honor them by laying wreaths at the cemetery on Memorial Day, and their families may honor them at home, with photographs, but this is a more lasting memorial.”

Tunick's father is not alone among veterans who don't seek out any recognition once they return from the battlefield, Farole said.

“But sometimes when time has gone by and made it easier for them to talk about, they feel more comfortable,” he said. “People really want to honor them and recognize them, especially their families.”

They're starting with 10 banners this year, and Tunick hopes to see increased interest in the program as more people notice them.

“Once we get the banners up, we think people will say ‘wow look at this, my father, uncle, grandparents were in this war' and want to get involved,” she said.

Farole said he's pleased the banner program has allowed Sewickley's veterans to recognize each other.

“There's no better way for a veteran to honor a veteran,” he said.

Kim Lyons is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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