Shirley Blair's voice breaks up when she talks about being able to see her late husband on a memorial banner in Langley City.
Robert Blair fought in the Korean War. "I can't begin to tell you," she said when asked about what it means to her to have him commemmorated on the fabric banner.
The banner program was the brainchild of the Downtown Langley Business Association.
Businesses sponsored the first batch that were put up last year for the first time.
Blair said the public acknowledgement brings pride to the families of the veterans shown.
"I know that many of the veterans' wives are just ecstatic," she said.
Her husband's banner has been photographed and sent around to the family. "My grandkids have been impressed, so I think the younger generation is really taking notice," Blair said.
With seed money from supporting businesses and lots of donated time and talent, the business association worked
with photographer Brian Bury who first pitched the idea, to obtain uniform, high-quality photos of the veterans and with Instant Imprints which printed the banners at cost.
The first phase resulted in 40 banners. The business association has now contributed for the second phase which saw an additional 30 banners created and $2,000 going to the Royal Canadian Legion Langley branch.
City crews install the banners a few weeks prior to Remembrance Day and remove them shortly after as part of the community support that this program has received.
Some businesses that didn't participate in the first batch of banners were impressed when they saw the final product and have thrown their support in for the second batch.
James added that it was an easy sell.
"The business community was very supportive, especially when they found out it helped the Legion," she noted.
And the banner program has had the intended effect - to publicly acknowledge veterans and increase public awareness.
The business association, as the lead organizer, receives the feedback.
"The general public has been calling frequently," James said.
The public wants in on the program. James said many people have asked to commemmorate a loved one so next year the program will feature an opportunity for people to buy in.
To qualify for a banner, the veteran can be living or deceased but must have a connection to this community.
Other communities want to find out more about a touching tribute. James has a meeting with a business group in Pitt Meadows to explain how Langley's program works.
"I'm thinking that it's going to spread," said Blair.
She noted that the Royal Canadian Legion Command (head office) has taken notice.
"They're hoping that it goes Canada-wide," she said. "I've had people from Chilliwack that are interested in getting it in their community."