BY SHERI TRUSTY
Four years ago, Louis Damschroder of Oak Harbor purchased a Veteran’s Banner to honor his late father-in-law, Benny Moosmann, a Marine who served in the 1950s and 1960s. The banner, which was displayed in downtown Oak Harbor, was part of a project organized by the Oak Harbor Development Group. When it was time to take the banner down two years later, he purchased another one. This year, he will purchase a third.
“It means a lot to my mother-in-law. She still lives in town, and we drive by it three or four times a week,” Damschroder said. “When my sister-in-law is in town, she always wants to see the banner so she knows her dad is not forgotten.”
The banners are hung on a two-year rotation, and they are scheduled to be replaced this spring. Anyone wanting to honor a military friend or family member should bring a photo to be scanned and payment for the banner to the Oak Harbor Development Group at 161 W. Water St. in Oak Harbor on Wednesdays or Fridays only from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Photos can also be mailed or emailed.
Cost for a banner is $200, and the deadline to purchase a banner is Feb. 2 or when all the banners are sold. Veteran’s Banners forms for submitting the veteran’s information can be found on the Oak Harbor Development Group Facebook page, and checks should be made to “Oak Harbor Development Group.” Banners will be hung in the spring and will remain up for two years.
The Veteran’s Banners project began in 2018 as a way to honor local veterans on Veterans Bridge in Oak Harbor.
“We started with 12 banners, and now we have 100. It just grew and grew,” said Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Valerie Winterfield. “We put up a few, and people started calling and asking to purchase one.”
When the current banners are taken down this spring, they may be picked up at the chamber office. For more information on the Veteran’s Banners, call the chamber at 419-898-0479.
Damschroder said his family will continue to purchase a banner to honor his father-in-law every two years.
“It’s a way we can remember our veterans, when they gave us the chance to live the way we want to live,” Damschroder said. “It’s nice to see banners of everyone’s loved ones in town. It’s a nice thing for Oak Harbor.”