City of Auburn expands veteran banner project, addresses recent community comments

The Veteran Banner Project is where local veterans are displayed along the street.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:40 PM CST
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AUBURN, Ky. (WBKO) - The City of Auburn is expanding its banner program honoring veterans in their community.

Last year, the city introduced the program where banners featuring the image, name, and service branch of local veterans lined Main Street.

Promotion for the event was advertised on the Facebook page of Auburn Kentucky Tourism Information and the local radio, encouraging friends and families of veterans to sponsor a banner for their loved ones.

With the demand for more banners to be displayed, the City of Auburn has expanded to cover both Wilson Avenue and College Street when they go back up in May.

“We’re a small town and most of the folks who are on these banners are from this area,” said Mike Hughes, Mayor of Auburn. “They served their country with dignity and they represented us well. Their families want to recognize that.”

Despite the popularity and success of the program, a recent Auburn City Council meeting revealed that some residents felt left out of the program.

“We tried to get that message out to all communities, to everyone in our community. We may have failed in some respect in that way and we’re trying to address that in different ways now; trying to reach out to everyone in our community and make sure that they all know,” said Mayor Hughes.

The outcry at the council meeting stemmed from a perceived lack of diversity in the displayed banners.

Rhonda Sullivan, director of Auburn Tourism, noted that the original campaign was done over social media and discussions over three months early last year. The city displayed all banners that were sponsored.

Applications to sponsor a banner can be picked up at City Hall in Auburn.

There is a $50 fee that covers the cost of printing and you will need to provide a picture of the veteran you wish to honor.

The City of Auburn will display, store, and maintain the banners free of charge.