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Oscoda Honors Veterans with New Banner Program


Oscoda has hung banners every year for its graduating high school seniors for 16 years now. This year, for Veterans and Memorial Day, they decided on a new tradition to honor their current and past veterans with their new banner program. Joshua Sutton, Clerk for Oscoda Township, said, “Our big thing this year. I’ve always wanted to do it, and I’ve worked with our Veterans Memorial Park, and we were talking about bringing back parades and different things. We looked at hometown heroes. The cost was quite a bit.” He said, “It was about $400 to do those, and for our veterans, that’s a lot to ask for. So P&L, a local company in Oscoda on the base, was able to make the banners for us, so we can price them at $100 so that veterans could get those or people that want to get them for relatives or friends.”

Joshua Sutton, a Clerk for Oscoda Township

In the first 48 hours, they had already filled their first 68 flag poles and immediately needed more, and ended up with 129 just in Oscoda and another 19 through Au Sable. It’s not just the families and friends of veterans, but local businesses are stepping up, also sponsoring banners for local vets. Sutton said, “It’s been really good. We’ve had a few in where they know a local veteran who comes in, whether it’s a restaurant or any other business, that they know them, and they’ve come in and sponsored those veterans just out of knowing them for the business, which is really nice for them to have that opportunity to, if nobody else does it. That you might go into a restaurant every day, and that waitress knows you were a veteran, and she lets her boss know, and they can put that out there and sponsor you to put it up on there.”

2023 is a big year for anniversaries in Oscoda, with its close ties to aviation history, and the banners will not be the only way to celebrate that history and pride. Sutton said, “We do a lot of projects at the park. We have air shows, wrestling, car shows, we do a lot of fundraising, we’re actually rated number one in Michigan for Veterans Memorial Park, and we’re competing for number one in the United States.” He said, “That’s our goal, so we’re gonna be doing our Memorial Day Parade. We haven’t done one since before COVID. This year is 100 years in aviation for Oscoda. 70 years since we opened Wurtsmith Air Force Base and 30 years since it closed. So we have three anniversaries for aviation here in town, but 100 years in aviation is a really cool way to bring it back.”