A gesture to honor local veterans that started in Double Springs and Moulton has made an impact on visitors from out of state.
Lawrence County Archivist Wendy Hazle was surprised to receive a phone call last week from a Florida native who noticed the Veterans Banners strung along the streets of downtown Moulton as she passed through the community on her summer vacation.
Mrs. D. Wood was traveling with her husband on a camping trip from their home in Niceville, Florida, near Elgin Air Force Base.
Hazle said Wood called the Lawrence County Archives to find out how to get similar banners started in her own community.
"She called me, she said, 'Here we are near the Air Force base, and that just took my breath away, seeing those,'" Hazle said. "So I explained to her that Joyce Cole had promoted the idea or presented it to us and the Moulton City Council."
The banners were a project spearheaded by the Lawrence County History and Preservation Society last year after LCHPS member Joyce Cole saw similar banners on display honoring veterans in Double Springs.
LCHPS received permission from Moulton City Council and Mayor Roger Weatherwax to fly the banners downtown. The society then partnered with Ink & Thread, a screen printing company in Moulton, to manufacture the banners.
After orders were placed and the banners made, Collis Pointer volunteered much of his time to hang the banners throughout downtown Moulton.
LCHPS President Ann Britnell said about 170 banners went up around the Moulton Square for Memorial Day this year and will remain on display until after Veterans Day. It wasn't long before the City of Courtland would follow suit, also placing orders to Ink & Thread.
The Courtland Community Revitalization Committee partnered with LCHPS and Ink & Thread to bring the banners to its downtown square in time for the second annual Wings Over Courtland event that took place in April.
While the Preservation Society would like to see the banners catch on in every community in the county, Hazle, who is also an LCHPS member, said she was thrilled at the response she has received from others out of the county and even out of the state.
"We've had a lot of out-of-towners that were really impressed with it and would like to see something similar in their community," she said. "I know when my own family was here, the week of the 16th, we rode around town to look at the banners, and they said they would love to get it in their communities in Illinois. In fact, my sister said every community should sponsor something like this."
The banners are manufactured to withstand the weather and will remain on display in the Moulton and Courtland communities until November.
For more information about the Lawrence County History and Preservation Society or the Veterans Banners, visit https://lchps18.wixsite.com/mysite, or visit the LCHPS Facebook page.