These military men, women and often their families were housed in residences on the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base and many apartments in the town.
With a 50-year anniversary of the closing of the base in 2016, it’s the ideal time to promote this kind of project.
Many of the apartment buildings on the base remain standing and some haven’t changed much since the base closed, except for many coats of paint.
Others have been modernized with new siding and peaked roofs, but the general style remains the same as when the base was operating.
Some of the massive hangars have been dismantled, the old hospital is gone and the air control tower removed but there are still some buildings — like the former officers’ open mess that is today the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 35 — which sport the same interior décor as when the base shut in 1966.
Streets still bear the names of the states of the United States, which is another reminder to visitors that they are on a former sprawling American base.
But five decades later, could it too late to attract visitors from the United States back to the town? Organizers say they are targeting those who went to school and graduated from Harmon High, which was in operation from 1962 to 1966. That group would now be in their 60s and probably freshly retired and ready to travel.
Recent research shows many of these individuals would like to come back and visit the place which holds may fond memories for them.
There is also interest from children of former military personnel who want to see where their parents or they, as infants or toddlers, once lived.
Now the work must start in earnest by organizations and businesses to see what type of activities and events can be planned.
Maybe this committee is onto something, but it will need lots of help to succeed and that will take dedication and work by different facets of the community.