MAHANOY CITY, Pa. -- A community in Schuylkill County is taking to the streets to honor military veterans.
Mahanoy City launched a Hometown Heroes banner program earlier in the year. Those banners are now up in the borough's downtown.
Hometown Heroes banners are a familiar sight in many communities in our area and now Mahanoy City is among one of them after decorating Centre Street by hanging them along light poles.
Earlier in the year, borough officials launched the Hometown Heroes banner program and invited the community to sponsor a banner that honors military veterans in the Mahanoy City area in an effort to get them up by Memorial Day.
Al Todd served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.
“It's really cool. Most of the towns, some of the towns have them too, but I think it's really neat because there's a lot of participation, they're kind of like everywhere,” said Todd.
The banners show a picture of the veteran, which branch of the military they were a part of, and where and when they served.
Susan Kester loves the banners. She bought one for her father which hangs outside the home where he still lives.
“He's 94 years old, and he's a World War II veteran,” said Kester. “I'm very proud. Every time I think of him, I get goosebumps.”
Her father, Francis Chesko, in turn bought one for his brother, Stanley. His banner hangs a block away.
“How proud? I can't tell you how proud I am, very,” said Chesko.
People in the community say the banners have made a big impact in the community and can't wait to see more of them go up.
Even those not living in the borough appreciate them.
“Makes me feel really good. I served in Vietnam with the 1st Marine Division and I'm not from this area, but to see all the veterans from all the different wars makes me feel good,” said Joe Gallo.
And it's clear patriotism and pride of service is important in Mahanoy City. Francis Chesko has his front window decorated with mementos from his time in the war.
“Where would we be if we didn't have our military?” asked Chesko. “We have to have them.”
The banners cost $200 each.
Applications to sponsor a banner can be picked up at the Mahanoy City Borough Hall.