The inaugural class of Hamilton’s Hometown Heroes will be honored Saturday at Armstead Park.
This past winter, Hamilton launched its Hometown Hero banner program, where veterans and families of veterans could submit an application to have a banner posted on polls around the city. More than 120 veterans will be honored at the corner of D and Main streets from noon to 1 p.m.
The initiative was led by the Hamilton Veterans Hall of Fame Committee and in partnership with the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton Community Foundation.
“We’re very, very fortunate to have this in our city,” said Councilman Tim Naab, a member of the committee of eight that led the initiative in the inaugural year. “Other municipalities throughout the state and nationally have veterans banners in place, and we’re able to tap into those initiatives and bring that to Hamilton.”
Middletown is also honoring its veterans (about 100) on May 27 with its inaugural class ahead of its Memorial Day activities.
Chris Haynes, a city employee and member of the Hamilton Veterans Hall of Fame committee, said this was a way “to recognize and pay tribute to our military service personnel and veterans.”
Hamilton’s ceremony, which is an all-weather event and takes place on Armed Forces Day, will not only recognize the 125 veterans that served in one of the U.S. Armed Forces branches but feature public officials and dignitaries.
The size of this inaugural class, Naab said, “is an incredible testimony to all of our Hamiltonians, all the people who have supported the banners program and have submitted their applications for their loved ones and family members to be recognized.”
Those killed in action will also be recognized with a special ceremony, Naab said.
Banners will be displayed on Main Street, between B Street and Millville and Eaton avenues, and along B Street between the Columbia Bridge and Black Street. Installation continues along B Street today and Friday.
The banners cost $150 each and were bore by veterans and/or their families, covering the production, installation, and annual removal. Sponsorships and donations were requested from the community to assist individuals or families who would like to participate but needed financial assistance.
Each banner will include the name of the individual, rank, years of service, the branch of service, and a photo, which needs to be high resolution given the fact the banners will be 8 feet and printed on both sides.
This November, the city will reopen the application process for the veteran class of 2024 Hometown Heroes.
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