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Medina may add banners to recognize Hometown Heroes in military

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 December 2018 at 9:46 am

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

MEDINA – The Medina community next year may have portraits of veterans lining streets as a celebration of Hometown Heroes who served in the military.

Mary Woodruff, a Ridgeway Town Board member, is pushing for the displays. Her father-in-law is honored on a banner in Almond and Alfred, an Allegany County community that unveiled banners of soldiers this spring.

The late Willis Burr Woodruff served in World War II. He later ran the local Agway plants in Knowlesville and Batavia. He grew up at Alfred Station.

His family paid $200 to have him be recognized on one of the banners in Alfred and Almond, one of about 100 veterans who are highlighted.

Mary Woodruff said the banners are a powerful display. She wants to have a similar program in Medina.

“There are so many unsung heroes,” she said. “It’s something I want to see to honor veterans.”

She discussed the project with the Medina Village Board on Monday. Woodruff said she is willing to coordinate the effort. She would like assistance from the Village Clerk’s Office and the town clerks in Shelby and Ridgeway for people to fill out forms and pay to have a banner, which would include the hardware to have the banners be attached to a utility pole. The Village Board could create a Hometown Heroes account for the funds, she said.

The Medina Department of Public Works and the highway workers from Shelby and Ridgeway also would likely be needed to help hang the banners just before Memorial Day and then have them removed after Veterans Day in November, Woodruff said.

The Medina banners wouldn’t be on Main Street in the downtown business district. Woodruff said she would like to start with Park Avenue, a popular parade route, and also Pearl Street by the former Armory, North and South Main Street (away from the downtown), Orient Street by the VFW, and West and East Center streets.

Medina Mayor Michael Sidari said the Medina DPW could use help from the Ridgeway and Shelby highway workers if the project moves forward. He wants to check with National Grid to see if the company would allow banners on its poles.

Woodruff said she will finalize more details for the program, including a cost for the banners and how the money will be handled. She said she would present the project next month to Medina, Shelby and Ridgeway officials and look for their official support.

She would like it to honor veterans, current and past. She said the first year could start small with perhaps 25 banners and then grow.

“I think it will be pretty popular,” she told the Medina Village Board.

Three sons of Willis Burr Woodruff are shown with his banner. The sons include, from left: Roger, David and Paul Woodruff.

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