LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The store-front windows of shops along the 100 block of First Street in downtown Lufkin look a little different this time of year. They are honoring local veterans in a different way because of COVID-19.
Lufkin Councilmember for Ward 2 Robert Shankle served in Desert Storm. He says seeing local veterans honored in this way in his hometown means so much.
“This is a great way of remembering and giving thanks to the ones that sacrificed so much,” Shankle said.
“Every year, we try to do something as the City of Lufkin for our veterans to honor them.” Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Taylor Commiato said.
Because of the pandemic, Commiato said this year they teamed up with downtown business owners for the walk of honor display, where shoppers and visitors can pay their respects and read about local heroes from store-front windows.
“We thought this might be a good option to keep people social distanced,” Commiato said. “We’ve got the photos up for two weeks so people can come down here anytime that they want and look for their families or their friends.” Caitlyn Kirkland owns Rubie and Jane Formal Wear.
“Even as a business owner, it is a great honor to use our storefront to honor the veterans and on a personal note my sister is a veteran,” Kirkland said. “We can never thank them enough and so this is just a really neat way to do a little bit of that.”
Right now, about 55 veterans' pictures are displayed along storefronts in the 100 block of First Street.
“The hope is that each year, we grow in numbers until the windows are just full of veterans,” Commiato said. “The flags are also a new installation for the street for Veterans Day.”
“It is very important that you let people know we appreciate their sacrifice and what they have done for America for everyone to be free and have the democracy that we have today,” Shankle said. “It is very appreciated that it lives on, and they will never be forgotten.”
Officials with the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau say they are asking for the community to submit more photos for the Walk of Honor. To submit photos email, Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Taylor Commiato at firstname.lastname@example.org.