ATWATER - Signs in a small town in Illinois caught her attention on a trip there, and now Paige Danielson hopes to accomplish the same in her hometown of Atwater.
The community is hoping to place signs on public property, such as utility poles, that will honor individual veterans past and present from the community.
It's all about honoring veterans, Danielson said. The community has been talking about doing something to honor those who have served, and is looking to raise funds and develop a memorial to do so.
Her trip to Fisher, Illinois, convinced Danielson that her community can do something right away. The signs there are about the size of "no parking" signs, and each bears the name of someone who has served or is serving in the military, along with the branch.
Danielson said she brought the idea to the Atwater Economic Development Agency as a member of its board of directors. The idea won the EDA's support, and discussion soon turned to a design. The Atwater signs will be red, white and blue and feature an American flag. Each will bear the name and rank of a veteran, and the years and branch of service he or she served. They will be about the same size as a "no parking" sign, very similar to those in Fisher, according to Danielson.
She presented the plan to the Atwater Lions Club. It has decided to purchase signs for any of its current or past members who have served.
The signs will cost $25 each, and families, individuals or organizations will be able to purchase them for any veterans they would like to honor.
The only requirement is that the veteran has been or is a resident of the community. Veterans from the Civil War-era to those serving today may be honored. It matters not if they served in peacetime or conflict.
It's a very affordable and accessible way for people to honor those who served, Danielson said.
She said she also likes the idea that the signs will be distributed about the community. They are likely to be noticed in ways that a memorial might not, she said. She hopes the signs serve as a daily reminder to remember those who have sacrificed for their country, she said.
The signs may be ordered with a form available at the City Offices in Atwater. They will be printed and erected before Veterans Day and Memorial Day each year.
Danielson said it's impossible to know how many signs may go up. "I'm hoping we run out of poles,'' she said.