ELDRED, NY — Memorial Day is about remembering those who served in the nation’s armed forces and perished in doing so. This year, the Town of Highland is honoring its local veterans through its Hometown Heroes …
ELDRED, NY — Memorial Day is about remembering those who served in the nation’s armed forces and perished in doing so. This year, the Town of Highland is honoring its local veterans through its Hometown Heroes project.
Spearheaded by former town clerk Doreen Hanson, the idea for the heroes banner project was inspired by a similar one in Matamoras, PA. This is the first project of its kind in both the Town of Highland and Sullivan County.
“There’s a lot of military in my family. The way I was raised, on Memorial Day, we went out for every Memorial Day Parade... so it was just a matter of saying ‘thank you’ and honoring our veterans,” said Hanson.
For the main part of the project, a total of 45 banners were made. Each contained a Highland-area veteran’s name, photograph, branch and the conflict that they served in. Some other distinctions, such as medals for valor or awards, were also printed on the banners where applicable. Vets both actively deployed and dating as far back as WWI were on display. The banners themselves were made by Remark Printing in Middletown, NY.
Twenty-five local volunteers helped bring the project to life. They were split up into three different crews, some working on hanging the banners and others directing the traffic that passed through. Many of them had relatives who had served in the armed forces.
Frontier Communications, Olori Crane Services and NG Gilbert Services each lent bucket trucks to use for the project. The banners were hung in the hamlet of Eldred on Proctor Road and up and down Route 55, beginning at Steges Road and heading south towards Barryville.
The planning phase of the project took one year. There was an initial application process that lasted from December to March 31.
According to town supervisor Jeff Haas, who also served as a volunteer with the project, securing permission from NYSEG to use the utility poles for the banners took the longest.
“It’s a wonderful tribute to our vets, so that they can be remembered this way,” said Haas.
The banners will hang from Memorial Day to Veterans Day. Hanson hopes that even more banners will be hung in the future.
“I just hope that the veterans know how grateful we are to them. I hope the community if they have a family member and they live in our town, that we can honor more veterans. The more the better,” said Hanson. “They’re not forgotten; they’re still being honored.”
To apply for a banner for next year’s iteration of the Highland Hometown Heroes, contact Doreen Hanson at 845/557-6085.