Banners for Hometown Heroes coming to Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 January 2019 at 6:13 pm

Photo courtesy of Mary Woodruff: The late Willis Burr Woodruff, a former Medina resident, is honored on one of the banners in Alfred in Allegany County.

MEDINA – Portraits of Medina residents who served in the military will be displayed on utility poles in Medina by Memorial Day. The banners of “Hometown Heroes” are expected to be up until past Veterans Day in November.

The Medina Village Board approved the program on Monday. Mary Woodruff, a Ridgeway town councilwoman, is leading the effort. She pushed for it after her late father-in-law Willis Burr Woodruff was featured on a banner in his hometown of Alfred.

That banner was unveiled in the spring through a project that also including neighboring Almond in Allegany County. Woodruff served in World War II. He later ran the local Agway plants in Knowlesville and Batavia.

His daughter-in-law liked the patriotic display and wanted to see a similar effort in Medina. The towns of Ridgeway and Shelby also have endorsed the “Hometown Heroes” with their highway crews offering to help the Medina DPW put up the banners and the hardware to hold them in place.

Woodruff said the first group of 35-50 banners should be up by Memorial Day. The banners have red and blue borders with a portrait of the featured veteran, as well as the vet’s name, time of service, branch of military, and honors.

“Can you see the effect when the Medina Marching Band comes through on Memorial Day?” Woodruff told the Village Board. “There won’t be a dry eye.”

Anyone from Medina who served in the military, past or present, is eligible to be featured on a banner. There is a $200 charge to be honor someone with a banner. The vinyl banners are double-sided and 5 feet tall by 2 ½ feet wide.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Mary Woodruff addresses the Medina Village Board on Monday. Jada Burgess, deputy village clerk, is in background.

Woodruff said she wants the program to be ongoing, with more veterans added each year.

“Let the world see we are proud of our men and women who have served and fought for our country’s freedoms,” she said.

There is a Feb. 15 deadline to order a banner to be up in time for this Memorial Day. The banners will go on Main Street including in the downtown, East Center Street, West Center Street, Pearl Street and Park Avenue.

The banners are expected to last about three years. Woodruff would like to see the banners moved around each year so the same veteran isn’t in the same spot.

She plans to keep the banner program going “for as long as people are interested in honoring their family or friend veterans.”

Application forms are available at the Medina Village Office, Ridgeway Town Hall, Shelby Town Hall and English Rose Tea Shoppe.

For more information, send Woodruff an email at

Return to top