WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Downtown West Orange Alliance launched the Hometown Hero program this past February but experienced delays due to the worldwide pandemic. The first group of 26 banners was finally installed on July 29. The Hometown Heroes program is intended to honor hometown veterans and the banners with pictures are submitted and paid for by family members. They provide a living memorial to all former and current service members from West Orange.
“The many sacrifices of our veterans past and present are most deserving to be remembered in a meaningful way,” Mayor Robert Parisi said. “In a certain sense our treatment of their memory will be a telling verdict upon our generation. West Orange has been cited as New Jersey’s most decorated community and these banners along our downtown corridor will help showcase one reason why.”
“They look beautiful and actually seeing them is a very moving experience,” DWOA Executive Director Megan Brill said. “The banners will serve the dual purpose of encouraging people to visit the downtown businesses while remembering and drawing attention to our veterans.”
The banners are 30 inches wide and 60 inches long; anyone who would like to participate in the next order of banners can fill out the form online at www.DowntownWO.com. The cost of $200 is tax deductible and can be charged to a credit card. Any town resident who has served or is serving in any branch of the military is eligible to participate. Family members of deceased veterans can sign up their loved one also by visiting the website.
Photos Courtesy of Joseph Fagan