Military banners retired at council meeting
BULLHEAD CITY — Some of the military banners flying over the city’s major thoroughfare were retired during a ceremony at last week’s City Council meeting.
A dozen people with ties to the community had banners taken down earlier this month. About 100 such banners can still be seen along Highway 95 between the Laughlin Bridge and Sterling Road. Each banner measures 2-1/2 feet wide by 6 feet tall.
Families aren’t charged to honor their loved one in active service this way.
“We don’t want people to be excluded,” said Cindy Frizelle, president of Tri-State Military Moms, Inc. “In some California cities the families are charged. That’s not what we want to do here.”
That’s why the nonprofit organization is always looking for individual, business and institutional sponsors to help pay for the Military Banner Recognition Program the group began in 2014 in partnership with Bullhead City and the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The large banners displayed along the highway are removed when the person being saluted leaves military service. Frizelle said many banners are taken down simply because the honoree was discharged or injured and moving into life as a civilian.
However, U.S. Army Spc. Lyric Young’s banner came down because he died. In August, Young completed a visit here to see family and friends and was involved in a fatal car accident en route to his base in Fort Drum, New York.
Several of the people at the ceremony were loved ones of Young’s, including his mother, Yvette Mendez.
The honorees are supposed to be Tri-state residents or have at least one immediate family member who lives in Bullhead City, Fort Mohave, Mohave Valley, Needles or Laughlin. Immediate family members in this instance would be a spouse, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, sister- or brother-in-law, Frizelle said.
In some instances, people who provided support to the active military member aren’t always blood relatives but can be considered as family — depending on the circumstances, Frizelle explained.
The banner program has allowed the entire community to recognize those serving as well as the many parents, spouses, children and other close relatives of active military members, she said. Knowing them allows residents to offer them support.
“This a very patriotic community,” Frizelle said.
Many people retired from the military live in the Tri-state area. There have been requests by relatives of veterans to hang similar banners but there wouldn’t be enough room for all, Frizelle said.
“And sometimes the wind blows them down,” she said. “We do our best to find them after that happens.”
Frizelle and others in Military Moms ask that people not call the city when a banner is already down. It’s better when the call comes while the banner is looking as if might come down soon.
Other reasons these banners will be brought down: If the honoree’s family leaves the area or if the banner is in poor shape because of weather-related damage.
The banners are installed twice a year: For Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Military Moms was stated to support U.S. military troops after 9/11. These volunteers also do such things as create and mail care packages to active military members and organize welcome home gatherings. The group is also involved in a variety of other military-related activities in the community.
To learn about the banner program or this non-profit, visit http://tristatemilitarymoms.com or 928-201-0319.