Banners will be flying along 2nd Avenue in Niwot this year for the first time in honor of those with a local connection who have served in the U.S. military. The Niwot Community Association in conjunction with the Niwot Business Association was inspired by Gunbarrel resident Sheila Ray’s suggestion to do what her hometown of Emporia, Kan. does for their Freedom Fest when the faces and names of veterans grace their main street.

As a result, the NCA and NBA formed a committee to bring a similar project to Niwot. The honoree on each banner must live in Niwot, or have a family member living in Niwot, or conduct business in town.

Members of the Veterans Banner committee are Sheila Ray, Julie Nelson-Breyer, David Limbach, Chuck Klueber, Lynn Palmer, and Terry Larsen.

Larsen said at least half of all people living in the U.S. had a father or grandfather who served in World War II, and there are a fair number of people in Niwot who either served themselves or have a relative who has been or is in the military, so it hits home for the town to pay respect to them on a personal level.

There are 36 spots for the 24 inch-wide by 42 inch-long banners to be on display along the two blocks of the town’s main street (2nd Avenue). Thus far, 16 applications have been received. If requests exceed the spaces available, Larsen said there will be a drawing to decide whose banner will be flown this year. In following years, there are plans for 18 additional banners throughout Cottonwood Square Shopping Center.

The display will be up from Oct. 15 through Nov. 15, to celebrate Veteran’s Day, which falls on Nov.11 this year. The same banners will be flown a second year, and perhaps longer depending on the number of responses the committee receives.

The committee is firming up the exact design of the banners, but for now applicants are being asked to provide a good quality image to be scanned or a digital file in any format (>300 dpi) of their veteran, along with the veteran’s name, military branch, rank, and years of service.

In addition to the banner, families have the opportunity to tell a bit more about their vet in an online biography.

Banners are $100 each, and will ultimately become the property of the purchaser. Personal use banners are also available for $75 each. The deadline to submit an application is Aug. 1. Visit niwot.org/veterans/ for additional information.