As Remembrance Day draws closer, banners depicting Okotoks Veterans are returning to Veterans Way and Milligan Drive.

The Okotoks Legion Branch 291's Memorial Banner Project, introduced last year, aims to honour the service of individuals who offered their service to preserve the freedom of their country.

Each banner is sponsored, with sponsors able to choose a veteran to be depicted with their name, photograph, and a bit of information about them.

32 additional two-sided banners are being displayed this year thanks to generous sponsorships, bringing the total to 44.

Todd Martin, Legion Member and Okotoks Veteran, says most were from residents wishing to honour a loved one, though several local businesses and organizations also sponsored banners with no particular veteran in mind.

In those cases, Okotoks Museum and Archive Specialist Kathy Coutts selected veterans from the first and second World Wars of whom a photo was available.

Martin says the banners will be arranged in a specific way in relation to the Cenotaph.

"Anyone who didn't come home is going to be closer to the cenotaph, and then as you go up the hill and get further away from the cenotaph, that's where the veterans that did come home and as the program carries on, we're going to have those folks finishing up Veterans Way and down Milligan."

He says he can vouch for the fact that it's a great learning experience.

"I learned some phenomenal tidbits of information about some of the veterans. One of the veterans I learned about is Winston Churchill Parker. He's a flying officer, still lives in Okotoks, just turned 102. How great is that?"

In the absence of larger Remembrance Day gatherings, Martin says the banners provide an excellent and safe opportunity to acknowledge Okotoks veterans.

"Whether you pause to reflect at the cenotaph on Remembrance Day or not, that's up to the people based on their risk tolerance, but, with the banners being up on Veterans Way and Milligan, it's walkable. I would encourage people to go for a walk."

He says it's a valuable look at just a few individuals who offered their lives for Canada.

"These have a connection to Okotoks. Whether they lived here directly, they settled here, or if their family is here, the whole mix is in there. This is Okotoks on display."

Martin also wished to extend thanks to those who offered their assistance to the program, including his fellow banner committee members Beverley Johnson and Marcelle Leslie, Spy Design for manufacturing the banners, The Town of Okotoks and Transportation Manager Jamie Greenshields for erecting the banners, and Kathy Coutts for lending her historical knowledge.

They'll start going up this week, and will remain until early-December.

Those wishing to contribute to next year's banner project are invited to reach out to Todd at


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