If you drive through the City of Lackwanna, you’ll see the faces of men and women who have served our country. Lackwanna is honoring veterans by displaying their service on banners hanging throughout the community.
More than 60 veterans were added Tuesday to the growing list of Lackawanna’s Hometown Hero Banners, bringing the total to 213.
For the veterans and their families, this recognition means the world to them.
“I think this is a very nice thing they’re doing for us veterans,” Vietnam Veteran Louie Klubak said. “I’m lost for words right now.”
“I’m very touched to be a part of this celebration,” Korean War Veteran Herlindo Saldana said. “It’s been many memories, some good, some bad, but I thank them for recognizing us.”
Family members submit $200 for the banners and can decide where they will hang in the city. Lackawanna resident Sheryl Mingarelli said she’s proud to honor her father Anthony, who passed away in 2015.
“I think he would be pleased that we did this for him because he was always doing something for someone else,” Mingarelli said. “This is our way of doing something for him.”
Lackwanna started honoring veterans this way a year ago. Mayor Jeffrey Szymanski said it gives people a chance to see these heroes in a different way.
“It really makes them feel special because they see their parent or their loved one in their fighting age,” Szymanski said. “Back when they’re young and vibrant. People see seniors and think they’ve always been seniors. No they’re the ones who’ve fought in world war one, two, Vietnam. They’re the one who’ve served our nation and to them, it’s important to honor those who have served our nation.”
Tuesday was the third ceremony presenting Lackwanna’s hometown hero banners. The city expects to hold more of these in the future. Lackawanna residents are welcome to apply to have their loved one honored in the next ceremony. A link to the form can be found here.