Medina will have 240 banners displayed this year of Hometown Heroes
MEDINA – The banners of Hometown Heroes are already going up in Medina, and 240 will be hanging on utility poles in time for Memorial Day.
This is the fourth year Medina has the banners up. There were 38 the first year, with 69 more the second year, and 133 new ones last year. This year 40 new ones will be up. The 38 from the first year won’t be included this year.
Medina has the banners on a three-year cycle. After three years they are returned to the families or sponsors. The banners also are displayed in different areas for each of their three years on the public landscape.
Mary Woodruff is coordinator of the Hometown Heroes. She wants to keep adding banners for as long as community members and families want to recognize someone who serve din the military.
She thanked the village officials for backing the effort, and the Medina Department of Public Works for hanging the banners which are 5 feet tall and 2 ½ feet wide.
“It’s history,” Woodruff said about the banners with portraits of soldiers and veterans from Medina. “These people made a difference. Some gave their lives. They’re all heroes to me.”
Families and sponsors pay $200 for each banner, and they receive the banner after its three-year cycle.
Woodruff said she knows many residents look forward to the banners going up each year. They will be displayed until just after Veterans’ Day in November. One woman told her she sees the banner outside her window, and it’s a reminder to say a prayer for soldiers every day.
Woodruff would like to add a fund with donations from the community to help cover most of the costs for a banner for families under financial pressure.
She is pleased to see many other nearby communities have added banners. She encourages other communities to start with a small and manageable number the first year, and then grow.
“It’s not a race,” she said.
Applications for new banners in 2023 will be available in late August through heroesofmedina.com. That website includes options for people to donate to the Hometown Heroes, with funds going to some of the costs beyond the expense of the banners and to help pay some of the cost of a banner and hardware for families and friends who don’t have the full amount.
Woodruff, a Ridgeway town councilwoman, has coordinated the banners in Medina after seeing a similar display in Alfred. Her late father-in-law Willis Burr Woodruff was among those recognized with a banner in Alfred.