Hometown Heroes Banners Program Honors Long Beach Veterans

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jobs-for-veterans garcia charter amendmentIn an effort to have Long Beach remember those who serve our country in the military, the Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation and the City of Long Beach are launching the Long Beach Hometown Heroes Banners project on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 9am.

“Fourteen banners will be flown at the Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center in honor of these Long Beach ‘hometown heroes’ who gave their lives while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan,” explained Schipske. “It’s the least we can do to remember them.”

Several families of those being remembered are expected to attend the dedication. The 14 include:

Private 1st Class Stephen A. Castellano
Sergeant Randy D. Collins
Sergeant Anthony J. Davis, Jr.
Sergeant Israel Garcia
Private Ernesto R. Guerra
Major Steven Hutchison
Private 1st Class Lyndon A. Marcus, Jr.
Specialist Roberto L. Martinez Salazar
Specialist Astor A. Sunsin-Pineda
Private 1st Class David T. Toomalatai
Staff Sergeant Joshua R. Whitaker
Staff Sergeant Andrew W. Harvell
Private 1st Class George D. Torres
Lance Corporal Veashna Muy

Schipske added that the Long Beach Hometown Heroes Banners program will be expanded to allow Long Beach families to sponsor banners along Clark Avenue honoring a son, daughter or friend currently in military service. The banners can be sponsored for $270 each.

“Many cities have a similar program. It was time that Long Beach stepped up and honored our local men and women who serve,” Schipske notes.

The December 10th event also includes the annual placing of holiday wreaths at the military memorial in the park by members of the Millikan Army JROTC. The wreaths are being provided by the national Wreaths Across America program which on the same day places a wreath on gravesites in Arlington National Cemetery and 450 other locations throughout the U.S.

“I reached out to our local cemeteries as well and I believe Forest Lawn will also be placing wreaths on the same day,” said Schipske. The placement of the wreaths will be followed by the playing of “Taps” and music by the Golden Sands Quartet.

To assist in the day of remembrance, the Long Beach American Red Cross will be on hand to interview veterans of all wars as part of the National Veterans History Project.

“The local chapter took on this project as a way to collect, preserve and make accessible personal accounts of our war veterans,” explained Schipske. “This project is especially significant given that every day hundreds of veterans who served in World War II pass away without leaving behind their personal accounts of their services to our country.”

The public is invited to this event, which begins at 9 am. The Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center is located at the corner of Clark Avenue and Conant Street in east Long Beach. Information concerning the Long Beach Hometown Heroes Banners Program can be obtained at: www.lbhometownheroes.com or by calling the Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske at 562 570-6932.

Wreaths Across America can be contacted at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

Information on the Veterans History Project can be obtained from Mike Farrar at 562 490-4003 or www.redcrosslb.org.

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