Farmington officials okay veteran banner program

Farmington city council members on Monday approved a plan to honor local veterans, by hanging decorative banners on light poles in the Grand River/Oakland Street area.

Farmington veteran banner
Banners like this will hang on light poles along Grand River in Farmington.

Farmington Public Safety (FPS) Commander Andrew Morchè said the banner idea bubbled up after officers escorted local resident and World War II veteran Albert Roe on an Honor Flight in May of 2019. Honor Flights transport veterans to Washington, D.C. to view the memorial dedicated to the war in which they served.

”It got my staff talking about local veterans and who they were,” he told officials during their 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall.

Officer Jacob Cote later texted a photo to Morchè of veteran standing with his banner in Sault Ste. Marie and asked whether something similar could be done in Farmington.

“We wanted something that was locally focused,” Morchè said. “We wanted some recognition for our veterans in downtown Farmington.”

While the city’s Historical Commission hasn’t been able to make a formal commitment for lack of a quorum, the group has agreed in principle to fund the project, Morchè said. Cost for the first five banners is $1,210; they’ll be installed in May and come down in November.

Families can apply for veteran recognition by submitting information about and verification of service (DD214), a photo, and an optional essay of around 500 words that tells the veteran’s story.

In addition to the outdoor display, veteran profiles will be linked on the city’s website. Morchè said the stories may be compiled and published. “That’s something we are planning for.”

Melissa Andrade, assistant to City Manager David Murphy, is also involved in the project. She said after meeting with members of Groves-Walker American Legion Post in Farmington, the group agreed to include veterans who live in Farmington Hills.

Veterans who have issues obtaining a DD214 to verify their service should call their congressional representative. In Farmington Hills, call Rep. Brenda Lawrence, 248-356-2052; in Farmington, call Rep. Haley Stevens, 734-853-3040.

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