The many faces of our veterans reflected in Downtown Tempe Authority’s Elevate Our Heroes

Downtown Tempe Authority provided a way for families, friends, businesses or organizations to shine a light on their military heroes, living or deceased, by sponsoring a banner in the Elevate Our Heroes program. –Downtown Tempe Authority photo

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By Angela Menniger, Special for wranglernews.com

Heroes come in many forms, but for anyone who knows a veteran or active-duty military member, the term “hero” takes on a deeper meaning.

Honoring a veteran’s missed holidays and celebrations as well as sacrifices and bravery to stand in harm’s way, Downtown Tempe Authority, collaborating with Tempe, introduced Elevate Our Heroes, a program to recognize military heroes who served, are serving, or have given their life to the nation.

Elevate Our Heroes is among two programs in Arizona that allows community members to publicly honor and recognize military members through individualized banners that serve as living tributes in the community.

Downtown Tempe Authority provided a way for families, friends, businesses or organizations to shine a light on their military heroes, living or deceased, by sponsoring a banner.

The full-color banners will be displayed in Downtown Tempe on the area’s iconic lamp posts.

The idea was a hit. Banners quickly sold out.

Tempe resident Suzanne Durkin-Bighorn is honoring her dad, John T. Durkin, who served in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas, as a canine military-police officer.

“Sponsoring a military banner in his memory gives me the opportunity to share him and his service with my community,” said Durkin-Bighorn.

Customized with the name, branch of service and official military photo of the service person, each banner will be displayed in November this year and next during National Veterans & Military Family Month.

Banners will be returned to the sponsoring members or businesses as a keepsake.

More than 115 banners were available for purchase for $125 through Military Tribute Banners, which helps raise funds for various non-profits, veteran organizations and communities desiring to honor and support U.S. military.

Information: downtowntempe.com/Military.

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