It’s been nearly a decade since the Downtown Langley Business Association (DLBA) started its initiative to honour veterans by displaying their images on banners around Langley City, and the project continues to receive positive feedback.
“By far one of the most heartwarming projects that we’ve ever undertaken and I don’t see it stopping,” said Teri James, executive director of the DLBA.
The project first began in August 2011, and the collection today includes 35 images, which are printed on 50 banners displayed around downtown Langley City ahead of Remembrance Day (Nov. 11).
“We’re slowing increasing our collection, which as you can appreciate, is challenging, because the people we are honouring are not necessarily with us anymore,” said James.
The banners encompass about six City blocks.
“They are primarily hung along Fraser Highway from 203rd [Street] down to 208th [Street], and as far over as 56th Avenue and on the other side Douglas Crescent,” she explained.
The project gained traction quickly when it was first introduced in 2011.
“I know when we first created them I got letters and emails from people back East who heard about the initiative… there are numerous other BIAs in British Columbia now that have duplicated it,” James noted.
“It was just so well received and such a beautiful tribute to the veterans. The response has been nothing but heartwarming.”
The original banners became faded and were replaced in 2019, and James is hoping to find the families of each veteran to gift it to them.
The current banners are expected to have an eight year shelf-life, she explained.
The DLBA did not set a specific criteria for which veterans were featured in the project, but James said they do have strong ties to Langley.
“It was anybody who had served our country, anywhere,” she said. “We were of the opinion that every veteran deserves to be recognized.”
As part of this year’s virtual Remembrance Day ceremony the City of Langley will honouring the veterans on the banners.
Unfortunately, names of two of the veterans are not known.
“The first time we hung them we went with members of the legion,” said James. “It’s just one of the those things when they go up in the community people are very must impacted by them and what they mean.”
The banners will remain on display for a week after Remembrance Day.
To contact the DLBA about the original banners call