Hometown hero banners now displayed on Mountain Avenue
By Amber McIver-Traywick
Banners depicting two of Berthoud’s hometown heroes went on display this week at the roundabout on Mountain Avenue. The project was initiated by Ryan Armagost, commander of Berthoud VFW Post 12189 – SPC Gabriel Conde Memorial and Kraig Patriquin, commander of Berthoud American Legion Post 67 – SSG Justin Bauer Memorial.
The banners will be displayed to honor the memory of Berthoud residents Spc. Conde and Ssg. Bauer who both lost their lives while serving in the military. The year-round display funded by the veteran organizations and donations has been in the works since January of this year.
The idea for the project came to Armagost and Patriquin when they were approached by a community member who came from a town that had a “Hometown Heroes Banner” program in place and thought it would be a good idea for Berthoud to do the same. The men began reaching out to the community to see if it was something residents would get behind. “The community was very supportive, so we went forward with it. We started working with town board members on the idea in February,” Armagost said. After some deliberation and not wanting to interfere with the flag program already in place down Mountain Avenue, the plan for the two banners was well on its way.
After reaching out to the soldiers’ families, who according to Armagost were “more than happy” to help with the project honoring their loved ones, obtaining high-resolution photos and completing the design work with a local printing company, the final step to completing the project was near.
Armagost and Patriquin attended a town board meeting and presented the banners, requesting permission from the town to hang the banners at the eastern entrance to town by the roundabout, Armagost said, “We asked them to help us honor our two hometown heroes where people entering the town could see them.” The board agreed and the banners were up a few days later.
In a post on social media thanking the town and the other people involved in bringing the idea to life Armagost said, “These two heroes deserve to be recognized and honored by our community, and anyone else that passes through. I hope that the families and community members appreciate this display.”
Additionally, the two organizations are currently working to get a section of US Highway 287 in Berthoud named “Spc. Gabriel Conde Memorial Highway” which would intersect with the section of Highway 56 named “Ssg. Justin Bauer Memorial Highway.”
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