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City officials joined members the New Rochelle Veteran Advisory Committee, American Legion Post 8, local military service organizations, the Municipal Arts Council, the New Rochelle Military Moms, other donors, and service member’s families to celebrate the installation of 27 “Hometown Heroes” banners, placed on Huguenot and Main Streets around Faneuil Park in the City’s east end. The project is a cooperative effort to recognize the men and women of New Rochelle who bravely served our country.
“We are committed to honoring the sacrifices of our military and veteran community,” said Tommy O’Keefe (U.S. Navy ’63 – ’68), Commander of American Legion Post 8. “This effort shows the deep commitment of New Rochelle to honor our fellow veterans, those currently serving in uniform, and those who made the supreme sacrifice. This is all toward the goal of enhancing our mission and driving toward our long-term objectives.”
The Hometown Heroes banner program was announced on Veterans Day 2019 and rolled out in early 2020, with 27 applications received. Each banner includes the honoree’s picture, name, branch and date of service. This is the first phase of an envisioned larger rollout honoring more of New Rochelle’s hometown heroes in the future.
“This project highlights positive collaboration between the City and Legion Post 8 as well as confirming the respect New Rochelle has for our military.” Lt. Commander Brett Morash U.S. Navy (Ret.) Chairman of New Rochelle Veteran Advisory Committee stated. “I find all veterans’ stories inspiring, from those serving in the combat arms to the cook who kept them fed or the logistician that kept them supplied. Every one of them are heroes in my mind and these banners are recognition of the diversity of service reflected in our nation’s military. As you will see there are members that served from WWI to currently serving active duty and reserve members of the military.” The project was spearheaded by VAC member Lupita Mendoza a former Corporal of Marines. New Rochelle’s Department of Public Works installed the banners.
Mayor Noam Bramson said, "This moving tribute reminds all of us of the profound impact veterans and service members have had on our community of New Rochelle. I am deeply grateful to Lupita Mendoza, the Veterans Advisory Committee, and American Legion Post 8 for spearheading this project, and am sure that many residents will draw inspiration from the Hometown Heroes displayed on these banners."
About the American Legion: The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veteran’s organization. Focusing on service to veterans, servicemembers and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States. Over the years, the Legion has influenced considerable social change in America, won hundreds of benefits for veterans and produced many important programs for children and youth. New Rochelle Post 8 was one of the first American Legions established in New York and have recently celebrated their 100th anniversary.
About the NR Veteran Advisory Committee: The New Rochelle Veteran Advisory Committee is made up of veterans appointed by the Mayor, the City Council, and the City Manager to advocate for veteran issues facing New Rochelle’s over 1,400 veterans and their families. Established in January 2018 it has made recommendations to the City Government to make New Rochelle a city that the veteran community inspires to call home.