Most of the banners have pictures but where that was not possible, an appropriate shadow image was used.
ADAMS, Mass. — Banners featuring some of the Mother Town's sons who marched off to war lined Park Street on Monday.
"Banners for Fallen Heroes" is the endeavor of George Haddad and Selectman James Bush, who worked with volunteers and American Legion Post 160 to honor those from Adams who died in service for their country.
The group had hoped to get the banners up in time for Memorial Day but the novel coronavirus slowed things down, said Bush, and were only put up on Monday.
"It was a long road but we got there," he said of the 32 banners featuring serviceman from the Civil War on.
Bush credited Haddad for coming up with the idea after seeing similar banners in town in eastern New York. By chance, Post 160 had just celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2019 and installed a photo retrospective in the main lobby of Town Hall. Part of this exhibit was a booklet of baseball card-like photos of hundreds of local service members dating from World War I.
"We actually had a very good group. We had people from the Legion very involved," Bush said. "Everybody worked very hard at it."
He particularly pointed the almost encyclopedic knowledge of local historian and Legionnaire John Bordeau.
"John Bordeau has a wealth of knowledge on veterans -- it was unbelievable. He was such a tremendous help," Bush said, also pointing to the efforts John Moyer, Keith Mclear and others.
In addition to COVID-19, which cancelled most Memorial Day events, the project also had to deal with getting permission from families for all the banners.
"It's tough to 32 people to make out the paperwork," Bush said.
The graphic design is a picture (or shadow if no image) of the serviceman and the symbol of the armed force they served in, name, age, military unit and year they died. The background is a flag and the main colors red and blue with gold lettering.
The banners were printed by Callahan Signs of Pittsfield and the major sponsor was Adams Community Bank.
They run on lightpoles along both sides of Park Street from Center to Hoosac Street. The Legion estimates around 70 Adams natives have died in service so Bush said they're prepared to add more along connecting streets.
"I'm sure once people see it ... I'm sure there'll be more coming down the road," he said. "I'm proud of it. I think it came out fantastic."