Hats off to Bel Air Alliance, Veterans

October 06, 2011

The plan by the Bel Air Downtown Alliance to offer people the opportunity to purchase a banner honoring someone in the service as Veterans Day approaches is a wonderful idea.

For decades, towns in Harford County and across the nation have taken to hanging banners from lamp posts to get one or another idea across. Proclaiming Bel Air to be the Heart of Harford was one such banner campaign.

While there's not necessarily anything wrong with such banner promotions, there is the matter of whether they're worth public effort that goes into them. In the case of the Bel Air Alliance, there's an element of private sector support, though the alliance is also supported by the town government. In other cases, banner programs have been government efforts.

In the case of the coming Veterans Day banner promotion, however, the operation promises to be one that doesn't add to the public's bills. People who want to honor someone will pay $200, which will cover the cost of the banner, depicting the service man or woman of the buyer's choice, and also generate some money for charity.

This is a great way for those of us in civilian life to express our support for those among us who defend the nation. It also will result in something better than the typical bland banners that end up hanging from lightposts.

And possibly it will serve as a new model for paying for banners in the future. Why not open it up to other holidays – Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthdays – and liven things up with designs by the people who pay for banners in a particular theme? The possibilities are endless.

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