ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) —Banners now hang on light poles along North 2nd Street in Machesney Park to serve as a way to honor active members of the military.
The idea came from village resident Kate Tammen whose son Jim currently serves as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy.
She saw online that other communities were had similar programs and brought the idea to the village board.
“It’s a community effort, and we’re proud of our military that are actively serving, and it’s a real honor to be able to showcase them in some way within our village.” said Kate Tammen.
Machesney Park board member James Kidd who is also a military veteran says they were happy to support it.
“There’s no expense to the taxpayer, because each banner is individually funded by a family member or loved one for a current active duty member. So all we’re doing is hanging them up with the road crew, and it just makes sense,” said James Kidd of the Village of Machesney Park.
Kidd says the banners went up a few weeks ago and now there are currently seven hanging. One of them is honoring Kyle Mcgee, an active member of the Navy.
His dad Jeffrey tells me he saw it for the first time while out driving last weekend and was blown away by how it turned out.
“When I seen it, I said that’s my boy!”
Tammen says even though her son lives on the East Coast now she sees him almost every day.
“I work at SwedishAmerican, so I drive down North 2nd Street daily to get to work and from work. So every morning and night I get to wave to him and say ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ and it really means a lot to me. It warms my heart to be able to just see a picture of him and think of him for the day,” says Tammen.
The banners are scheduled to be up for one year (pending wear and tear.)
Anybody’s who is interested in having a banner made can apply to have one put up on the village website.