By Lisa Morgan

The heroics and honor displayed by school teacher, Lee Wilson Jr., are second only to those students from our own Palm Springs Unified School District who gave their lives for this country. The list is much longer than you think as it spans from World War II to current losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. On his own, a former marine himself, Lee launched The Fallen Heroes Banner Project, a project that is gaining momentum all across the United States. Immediately upon contacting them, the City of Cathedral City, the Palm Springs Air Museum and Palm Canyon Road House, among others, jumped on board to be part of this. Thanks to Lee and the passionate participants joining him, Palm Springs and Cathedral City will not be the odd towns out.

“I stopped counting after 100 the number of cities in Southern California that honor those in active duty overseas. The difference here is, we are honoring those who died serving our country during war, some of whose stories were never told due to censorship at the time. The purpose of the project is to honor all local residents of Palm Springs and Palm Springs Unified School District who, in time of war, gave their lives for our freedom. These “Hero Banners” will create a “Walk of Heroes” along Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs, at the Palm Springs Air Museum, and additionally, in Patriot Park in Cathedral City. Sponsored by the Palm Springs American Legion, Owen Coffman, Post 519, friends and family of our 27 heroes are invited to leave photos that can be used during patriotic events and to keep as a permanent record in our archives. We especially need photos and information about our World War II, Korea and Vietnam heroes.”

On Saturday, August 23, local musicians will be turning out in droves to help raise money for this honorable and necessary project. Palm Canyon Road House will be hosting bands starting at 2:00 PM and throughout the night. Contact Gary at Palm Canyon Road House at (760) 327-4080 or through their Facebook page:


People wishing to donate to the Palm Springs Hero Banner project; please send a check or money order made out to the Palm Springs American Legion Post 519. In the memo portion of the check; please write HERO BANNERS.

Mail to:
Palm Springs American Legion Post 519
Attn: Dave Stevely, Finance Officer
400 N. Belardo Rd.
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Banners cost $70 each, however brackets can cost $300. In the unlikely event they raise more money than needed for our banner project, all additional funds will be made to the Legion Scholarship Program.

You can find updated information by requesting to be added to the Facebook group page: Palm Springs Fallen Hero Banner Project

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