Banners in Waynesboro to honor local vets

Ahead of Memorial Day, the City of Waynesboro has found a new way to honor its local veterans by displaying banners around the city.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:30 PM CDT
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WAYNESBORO, Miss. (WDAM) - There are a large number of veterans living in Wayne County, even more than veteran service officer Sammy Barnett realized. He said he wanted to find a way to honor residents who served in the military.

“As we place all of these banners, a lot of them are older photos, but they (residents) see the name and they recognize the name of their next-door neighbor and say, ‘I didn’t know he served in the military,’” said Barnett.

Barnett partnered with the American Legion in Waynesboro and the Chickasaway Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Together, they have helped post more than 30 banners across the city.

“I thought it was a wonderful project, and I wanted to do it up here in Waynesboro,” said Becky Rhinehard, Daughters of the American Revolution member. “I  just got really fortunate that we found the American Legion and Mr. Barnett to make it go.”

The banners feature several of the city’s most decorated veterans, including 97-year-old Arthur Gardner, who served in the Navy during WWII.

“It makes me feel good,” said Gardner. “It lets people know. A lot of people don’t realize or don’t know what the war was. I think it’s a good thing to do.”

Dianne Newman lost her son, Eric, in the line of duty in 2010. She described her emotions after learning about the project.

“It means a lot. it helps,” said Newman. “When someone loses their child or father or whoever, it makes them feel good to know how you feel.”

Barnett said that the response to the project has been outstanding, and he expects to display another 20 banners before Memorial Day.

“Our problem is that we’re going to run out of poles if it continues,” Barnett said.

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