The holiday season is fast approaching, which means families and friends will come together from cities far and wide to spend quality time, enjoy each other’s company and catch up.
However, not all families will get to be together this season. For some military families in Santa Clarita, and across the country, they will spend this most cherished time of year apart from their loved ones.
The city of Santa Clarita is able to give these families a chance to see their actively serving military member’s photo proudly displayed on a banner through our Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program.
This program pays tribute to those Santa Clarita residents or immediate family members currently serving on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
Our Hometown Heroes Banners were most recently hung at the end of last month, and will continue to line our streets through the New Year.
Banners are placed in Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus and Valencia. In addition to being displayed from Veterans Day through the New Year, Hometown Heroes banners are also installed throughout the city for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
The city also honors our Gold Star fallen warriors on banners, which are hung exclusively along the Fallen Warrior Memorial Bridge on Golden Valley Road.
With Veterans Day coming up this weekend, please take time to visit Veterans Historical Plaza, which is located at 24275 Walnut St. in Newhall.
There you will be able to enjoy the park, spend time with family and friends, and perhaps meet some Hometown Heroes in person.
Sunday is the annual Veterans Day Ceremony in Veterans Historical Plaza.
Community members are invited to this event, which begins at 11 a.m. and will honor local veterans, currently serving military personnel and their families.
The event is a joint partnership between the city and local veterans organizations and will include musical performances, featured speakers and the changing of the flags.
The ceremony will begin with the tolling of the Bells of Peace, which commemorates the centennial of the end of World War I. You will hear a reading of the poem “In Flanders Field,” as well as a performance of “Over There.”
These two stirring works depict both the spirit of American patriotism and the stark reality of what war does to society.
While you attend the ceremony, visit the Fallen Warriors Monument, which was installed last fall and is an important and sobering tribute to all known and unknown Santa Clarita Valley residents who have lost their lives while serving our country since World War I.
The Fallen Warriors Monument, in its special location, is a beautiful addition to the city and the peacefulness of Veterans Historical Plaza creates a quiet place for reflection, meditation and prayer.
This Veterans Day and holiday season, please keep our Hometown Heroes, veterans and military families in your hearts.
If you are interested in purchasing a banner for your Hometown Hero, or contributing to help cover the costs for a military family in Santa Clarita, please visit santa-clarita.com/heroes or email me directly.
Mayor Pro Tem McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.