Banners honor Hilliard veterans and active-duty soldiers

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group
Andy Beare, the urban forester for Hilliard, places the first banners of Hilliard's for Hometown Heroes program Feb. 12 on Main Street in Old Hilliard. Beare worked with the city's service department to replace winter-themed banners with the Hometown Heroes banners on each light pole throughout Old Hilliard.

The first banners for veterans and active-duty military personnel in the local Hometown Heroes program were placed Feb. 12 in Old Hilliard.

Hilliard leaders announced in December that the city would begin displaying the banners in February as part of the program established by the city and Hilliard City Schools.

The concept originated at Hilliard Davidson High School, which in January 2020 received the Purple Star Award from the Ohio chapter of the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission.

After observing last spring how high school athletics departments used banners to recognize athletes prevented from competing because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, a similar partnership was created among the district's three high schools and the city to recognize those who have served our country, said Lori Mongolier, a guidance counselor at Davidson.

Through the Hometown Heroes program, family members of any resident or former Hilliard student who served or serves in the military may purchase a banner that will be displayed in Old Hilliard around select 2021 patriotic holidays, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day, said David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard.

The first banners were hung Feb. 12 in observation of Presidents Day on Feb. 15.

Banners are $35 and available on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 200 eligible applicants. When the banners are retired, they will be given to the families.

"Our intent is to keep selling them as long as there is space in Old Hilliard, so with 200-plus poles, we don't think we will run out of space," Ball said.

People who make purchases going forward will see their banners displayed in May, with additional banners placed near July 4 and again near Veterans Day in November, Ball said.

Applications are available at hilliardohio.gov. Search for "Hometown Heroes."

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo