By Ken Striplin City Manager People notice the changing seasons and mark the holidays in many different ways depending on where they live. Back East, fall is marked by colorful leaves carpeting the ground. Up in the Rockies, winter kicks off with a blanket of crisp, white snow. Here in Santa Clarita, we mark important calendar dates with red, white and blue. Several times a year, our city staff adorns streetlights along main thoroughfares throughout the city with American Flags. This patriotic display is quickly joined with faces of local residents. They may be your neighbor, son, daughter, brother or sister — but they are heroes to us all. The Hometown Hero Banner Program was launched in 2016 as a way to recognize and pay tribute to currently serving, active duty personnel in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard who are either Santa Clarita residents or immediate family members of current residents. The banners are hung on street poles in Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus and Valencia, and our Gold Star Military Banners are displayed on the Fallen Warrior Memorial Bridge. They go up three times a year — before Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veteran’s Day. Our goal is that every hero is recognized, and to accomplish this, banner sponsorships are available. We encourage you to make sure your Hometown Hero is featured on a banner when they are hung up in a few short weeks for Veteran’s Day. In addition, new this year, we are offering an option to honor an active military member with a free digital banner on the Hometown Heroes website. I encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to honor a family member or friend. To learn more about the program, including fees and deadlines, please visit santa-clarita.com/Heroes. We are so thankful for the freedoms we enjoy in our country, and even more thankful to the men and women who serve and protect those freedoms.