If you haven’t driven through Holley this summer, you’ve missed quite a sight. The light posts and electrical poles throughout the village are adorned with Hometown Heroes banners. Each one recognizes someone from the village who is actively serving in the military. The attractive banners are 72 inches tall and about half as wide and each one is adorned with a large photo of the serviceman/woman along with his or her name and branch.
The first time I saw these banners in the Village of Brockport I was awestruck. It was awesome to finally see our brave warriors get the recognition they deserve 24/7, not just during Veterans Day when most Americans seem to develop a sense of appreciation — and temporarily at that — for the sacrifices these souls can and do make every single day when stationed in far off lands.
It was good, as well, to see each person singularly recognized. We so often hear how it is an “Army of One” or about how the collective is more important than the individual. But, let’s get real: It’s the individual who makes the collective and it’s the individual who commits acts of heroism to save a comrade, protect an innocent, or preserve our national integrity. Were it not for the accomplishments of one man in war — fighting for the common cause or the goal of the moment — our armed forces wouldn’t be the greatest on Earth. And, neither would our nation. So, it’s incredibly important to recognize the man, the woman who has volunteered to maintain the American spirit.
We need more communities to follow Brockport and Holley’s example. Many local towns and cities think nothing of putting up banners and more for their hometown football and basketball heroes. So, why not do it for the real heroes — those whose adventures play out on a battlefield, not on a football field or basketball court?