Porterville program creates banners to honor veterans for Memorial Day

PORTERVILLE, Calif. - In Porterville they held a unique ceremony Friday to honor military men and women this Memorial Day weekend.
 
It's called the Military Banner Program.
 
The program allows family members of people who served to create banners to be displayed throughout the city.
 
During the ceremony Friday morning, 117 soldiers dead and alive were honored.
 
"It's just amazing that the community does something like this," said Navy Vietnam Veteran James Tatum.
 
He's says seeing is banner bring him a joy he wants to share with his son who lives out of state.
 
"He'll be here this summer, I can't wait to get him down here to see my banner," said Tatum.
 
It was also a special day for Steven Caulk and his father who served in WWII.
 
Caulk left to serve in the Airforce in 1986, following his father's footsteps, Friday, they both got take a picture together their banners which hang side by side.
 
"I lived through horse and wagon, to jet travel now that's a transition," said Dearl Caulk, father of Steven. "God has blessed me, when I was a youngster I thought i'd never make it past 21 let alone live to see today."
 
Not everyone lived to see their banner hang high.
 
Roxanne Dignam's dad Henry Balangue died two years ago.
 
For Dignam Memorial day weekend is a time for reflection of all the great memories her dad has left her.
 
"It's actually my birthday today, so to have this done is just awesome," said Dignam.
 
Dignam's dad served in the Army from 1953 to 1956.
 
He leaves behind five children and 27 grandchildren.
 
Mercedes Lisenberry says although she is one of 27, her grandad always made her feel special.
 
"I played softball and was in choir concerts and he was always there with an ice chest asking 'are you thirsty?' he was always there," said Lisenberry.
 
As the banners hang high, each and every family connects to their loved one and the memories they share.
 
The Mayor says it's a small token of appreciation for their major sacrifice.
 
"We are such a patriotic town, and we want to make a commitment to our veterans that are presently in the military, in the past were in the military and those who will be in the military in the future," said Milt Stowe, Porterville Mayor.
 
It's an honor the Mayor says they'll do one banner, one flag at a time.
 
The banners will stay up until Veterans Day.


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