Banners honoring those currently serving in the U.S. military will soon be flying along Langer Farms Parkway thanks to the efforts of several citizens and the city of Sherwood.
During a Sherwood City Council meeting on May 2, Sherwood resident Ed Lapp told the council of plans to install the banners honoring military personnel along the roadway.
"Our goal is to have as many banners flying along Langer Farms Parkway by the Fourth of July as possible," said Lapp, who served in the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
The project began thanks to the efforts of Ed and Rosary Contreras, parents of Aaron J. Contreras, a Sherwood High School athlete who later served in the Marines. Contreras died in 2003 while serving as a helicopter pilot in Iraq and Sherwood High's stadium is named in his honor.
"The idea was (Rosary Contreras') and she asked will you help me get the programs started?" said Mark Gribble, who is also helping with the project and attended school with several of the Contreras' children.
Rosary said she got the idea from the banners the city of Beaverton has installed along Murray Boulevard honoring Beaverton residents in the U.S. military.
The Contrerases were in a U.S. Marine recruiting office in Oregon City talking about their plans for the banners when a recruiter pointed to PFC Ryan Milligan, a Sherwood resident who happened to be in the office at the same time, as a great first candidate to be recognized. Milligan graduated from Sherwood High School in 2016 and joined the U.S. Marines in September. A prototype of Milligan's banner was unveiled at the council meeting.
Gribble noted not only the significance of placing the banners along Langer Farms Parkway on the Fourth of July because of its importance to American history but also noted July 4 was the birthday of Aaron Contreras.
City Manager Joe Gall said he believes there are between 40 and 45 poles along Langer Farms Parkway that can accept banners, and extra space could be added.
"We'll take as many banners as possible," said Gall.
The banners will stay up as long as the person named on them is serving in the military.
"We are wholeheartedly happy to support this program," Mayor Krisanna Clark told organizers.
Clark had talked about such a program during her State of the City speech in February.