FAIRBORN — From Memorial Day until the weather turns cold, Hometown Heroes banners displaying the names, photos and service dates of Fairborn veterans will be on display in Fairborn’s historic downtown.
The Fairborn Military Veterans Memorial Project honors past and present military personnel from Fairborn, Fairfield, Osborn, Bath Township and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base through the Hometown Heroes banner program.
The inaugural year of banners for hometown heroes includes 21 people, ranging from World War II to the modern day.
“It’s something close to our hearts to get done, especially since we’re close to the base,” said Terry Burkert, Fairborn Military Veterans Memorial Project Committee co-chair.
Each banner, created by TCA Graphics, includes the name, branch of service, and photo of each military member, and are hung on city streetlamps from Memorial Day to Veterans Day. They will go up again next year during the same time period, before they are taken down and given to veterans and their families.
The program is a “living tribute” to those veterans and their family members, as well as those who are currently serving, or those that have given their life in the line of duty within the United States Armed Forces, the city said.
“You hear people saying they’re very glad we’ve done it and they’re appreciative that we’ve done it,” Burkert, a Vietnam veteran, said. Burkert has a banner himself, at the corner of Maple Avenue and Broad Street.
“People have respect for them and what they did for the country, but sometimes I think when they came back they were not shown appreciation for what they had done,” he continued. “I think it gives them a little bit of respect and recognition that they may not have gotten when they came home.”
The Fairborn Veterans Memorial Committee has multiple projects in the works, including the development of memorials for veterans and first responders. The memorials would be located at the planned Memorial Park on the corner of Central Avenue and Hebble Avenue.
“The Fairborn Military Veterans Memorial Project Committee are proud co-sponsors with the City of Fairborn providing this opportunity to showcase and recognize our local hometown heroes,” said co-chair Dan Kirkpatrick.
The next round of applications will be turned into banners in 2023.
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.