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'Hometown Heroes' banner program underway in northern Niagara

Fri, Dec 23rd 2022 10:30 am

The “Hometown Heroes” banner program is slowly starting to gain recognition in northern Niagara County.

This initiative was introduced this fall in the towns of Lewiston and Porter, including the villages of Lewiston and Youngstown. It’s modeled after similar programs in the Town of Niagara, the City of North Tonawanda and Town of Newfane. “Hometown Heroes” was most recently introduced in the Village of Wilson.

Typically, “Hometown Heroes” recognizes service members in the community by means of banners funded by sponsors that are placed on utility poles in prominent areas of the municipality.

Introduced in the early 2000s, “Hometown Heroes” currently has a number of communities participating nationwide. It recognizes “the sacrifice and commitment of those who served or presently served in the military,” according to a description offered by the Town of Porter. “The banners can be purchased by friends, families, community organizations or businesses.”

Currently, both the towns Lewiston and Porter are availing a sponsorship package to interested residents, businesses and organizations. This features a full-color banner measuring 66 inches by 30 inches in size and constructed of a durable vinyl fabric. The banner may include a patriotic theme along with the service member’s photo and information on the service member.

Once complete, the banner will include the necessary hardware to allow for mounting on utility poles in a community. Cost to the interested sponsor is $190 in Lewiston and Porter, and $185 in the Village of Wilson. The banners are displayed from May through October of each year and remain the property of the participating sponsor (or can be stored by the municipality). Useful life of the banners is generally from three to five years.

Interested sponsors who may want to participate are asked to provide the service member’s name, branch of service, as well as conflict or era of service. Branches include the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, National Guard or National Reserve. Time periods of service are generally from current day to the wars and conflicts of past centuries that saw U.S. participation. Examples include the Persian Gulf/War on Terror (from 1990 to present day); Panama, Grenada, Lebanon or Vietnam (from 1964 to 1975); Korea (1950-55); World War II; World War I; the Spanish-American War; the Civil War era in the U.S.; and peacetime.

The service member recognized may be currently active, an honorably discharged veteran, MIA or having passed in the line of service.

Interested sponsors in the northern county area are best advised to contact their individual participating community for more information.

√ For those in the village and town of Lewiston, contact Historian Louise Maggard at Lewiston Town Hall at 716-754-8213.

√ In the Town of Porter, including the Village of Youngstown and hamlet of Ransomville, email [email protected].

√ For the Village of Wilson, email [email protected].

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