MESA, AZ — Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the city of Mesa is honoring some of its hometown heroes.
From now until June 6, you will see banners displayed on street lamps in downtown Mesa. Each banner has the name and photo of a service member, veteran, or active-duty member.
Richard Ramirez has two family members displayed on the banners.
He requested a banner for his uncle William Amavisca Jr. In return, William Jr. requested a banner for his father William Amavisca Sr. who has since passed away.
Ramirez says William Jr. was a helicopter mechanic in the Vietnam war. His grandfather, William Sr., was an orthopedic mechanic who built limbs for the men and women who lost limbs during World War II.
ABC15 was there as Ramirez saw the banners on display for the very first time.
“It’s stirring, it’s definitely moving,” Ramirez said. “Exciting to have someone we know, very relatable from here in Mesa, to be represented down here.”
“It’s a huge gesture to remember the folks that built the city, in their duty, in their efforts to make the city what it is," he added. "I live two minutes from here in the oldest part of Mesa and with things changing so much, it’s nice to remember where things came from."
In September, the city will once again take applications for banners to be displayed during Veteran’s Day. The city of Mesa says the cost of each banner is a $150 donation to the Hometown Hero Program. Limited scholarships are available upon request. The applicant or the service member must be a Mesa resident or work in Mesa. Applicants will get to keep the banner once it is taken down.