Just in time for Veterans Day, Windsor has become the second city in Sonoma County to put up large banners to honor active members of the military.
The color photos and names of 17 servicemen and women were attached to light poles Monday and Tuesday at the Windsor Civic Center.
The program was authorized by the Town Council last year to showcase armed forces members who either live in Windsor or have family members in town.
Windsor Honors Hometown Heroes
It's intended to honor their commitment and make sure they are not overlooked.
“People are out there serving. Not everyone knows who they are, or where they are. In a time of war, it's easily forgotten,” said Graham Rutherford, whose son, Marine Lance Cpl. Edward Rutherford, 21, is one of those featured.
“They're real people risking their lives for us,” said Rutherford, who noted that his son served in Kandahar province in Afghanistan last spring, in a mobile artillery vehicle.
Although the young mechanic and rifleman is currently at Camp Pendleton in Southern California, his father said there is a good chance he will return to Afghanistan next year.
Graham Rutherford, principal of Cardinal Newman High School and a former chairman of the Windsor Parks and Recreation Commission, is credited with helping to bring the military banners to Windsor, after hearing of a similar program in Rohnert Park.
Individual banners are displayed as long as the person is on active duty and after that will be presented to relatives, or the service member.
Veterans groups and sponsors so far have raised $3,800 to pay for banners in Windsor and more than 250 people showed up on Sunday to attend a “Hometown Heroes Military Banner Ceremony,” according to Jeannie Mitchell, Windsor Parks and Recreation spokeswoman.
Families of those portrayed on the banners attended the ceremony at the Huerta Gymnasium, along with veterans groups, town and county officials.