Watson Legion honouring veterans with banners

WATSON — If you drive through Watson this month, you will likely see banners displayed on light poles with the names and photos of 38 veterans plus an unknown soldier and one forgotten soldier banner.

The initiative is being undertaken by the Watson Legion Branch #272 of the Royal Canadian Legion in co-operation with the Town of Watson. The objective is to pay tribute to veterans of the First World War, Second World War and Korean War.

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“It’s to make an awareness of these veterans, of what they sacrificed for us, and just to remind people what Remembrance Day is all about,” said Debbie Schwartz, co-chair of the initiative.

Each side of the banner honours a specific veteran who was either born or lived in Watson and District at any time of their lives. Each side includes the veteran’s name, branch of service, name of the sponsor and military photograph. They are all five feet tall, and two and a half feet wide.

Four of the veterans being represented are fallen, with the rest being survivors.

Schwartz said what she wants people to see when they look at the banners are the veterans’ ages.

“Some of them were even 16, but some were 18, or in their twenties and thirties, and just what they gave for the country and to remind everybody that we have to remember it so we don’t have another war.”

The Legion gave each banner sponsor a promise that they will be displayed a minimum of five years from October to November 11, but that’s the minimum guarantee, Schwartz said.

“We guarantee them for five years but we feel since they’re up for such a short time we should get longer out of them.”

Banners will be stored by and remain the property of Watson Legion. 

Schwartz said the Legion intends to continue the program in the upcoming years.

“Until we run out of lampposts,” she said.

“We’re expecting to get more. We’ve already been approached by a family who had two or three in the war and are from Watson or were originally from Watson.”

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