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Nov. 8 ceremony to kick off military banner program
Banners antioch
An example of banners honoring local military veterans and active duty personnel can be found in this example in the Bay Area community of Antioch. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

A special ceremony is planned for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at Fourth and North streets to kick off the inaugural year of military banners.

The city of Ceres will be rolling out its Hometown Hero Banner Program to recognize veterans and active duty service members who live in Ceres or past members who were from Ceres. The ceremony is timed days before Veterans Day which falls on Friday, Nov. 11.

Banners will be posted on poles in downtown Ceres on Third, Fourth and North streets prior to the week of Veterans Day which falls on Nov. 11.

A total of 37 banners were available for individual service members, which will be on display for a year. Both sides will display the service members’ name, photo and branch of service. The deadline was Sept. 6.

Proof of Ceres residency was required to prove that the service member is from Ceres.

Joey Chavez, the city’s Recreation Manager who is managing the program, said roughly half of the applications are for present active-duty personnel while the remaining honor veterans, some deceased. For example, one banner will honor an Army sergeant who enlisted in 1943 during World War II.

Chavez said a survey revealed that Ceres is hometown to 123 active service personnel and 22 reserves residing in 95307 95351 and 95358 zip codes.

The first year of the program is being underwritten by a $7,000 allocation from the city’s share of ARPA funds.

The city will also be looking for financial sponsors to keep the program running after the first year to pre-empt the need to charge families of the member for the banners. Sponsorships are available to help underwrite the costs of the program at the $100, $225, $500, $1,000 and $5,000 levels.

Banners will hang for one year until retirement and then presented to the family.

A vendor in Turlock, All Star Trophies & Banners, is producing the banners at a cost of $158.40 apiece.