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Hometown Heroes Banners Returning To Santa Fe

Kevin Meerschaert
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives a thumbs up after erecting the first of 131 Hometown Heroes banners to honor Santa Fe veterans.

Santa Fe’s Hometown Heroes Banners honoring local veterans are returning.
The banners will be erected on several streets across the city

For years the banners would be erected every year on Cerrillos but the manufacturers of the light poles on the road expressed concerns that the weight of the displays might cause the poles to fall.

The city decided to stop posting the banners on Cerrillos and look for alternative locations but when that began to drag on, local veterans groups protested.

The new plan was to erect the banners around the Railyard, downtown and on Guadalupe Ave. But there wasn’t enough space to post all of them on the city streets.   

Now, working with the pole manufacturer, adjustments have been made to allow some of the banners to return to Cerrillos along with the other streets and St. Michaels all 131 banners are expected to be raised.   

Having the Governor’s office state sign off on allowing the banners to be hung on state roads sealed the deal to be able to get all the banners displayed.

On Thursday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham hopped on a cherry picker to hang the first banner in front of the Veterans Cemetery. 

Kevin Meerschaert
101 year old WWII veteran Stella Vigil Lavadie chats with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber ahead of the ceremony to announce the plan to bring back the Hometown Heroes Banners to city streets.

101-year old Stella Vigil Lavadie was given the honor. She was one the first females to volunteer during WW 2.

She says she was a thrill to watch it go up.

“I feel very special and honored and humbled,” Lavadie said. “There are so many adjectives I could add to the way that I feel.”

Louis and Angela Coles were on hand for the ceremony carrying a smaller version of the banner honoring their son Aaron, who served and was wounded in Afghanistan. Aaron is now 90-percent disabled.

Kevin Meerschaert
Louis and Angela Carlos show off their banner for their son Aaron.

Louis said they are very happy the banner controversy has reached a happy conclusion.

“The end game is the fact that the banners are going up,” he said. “The end game is that we need to honor our veterans.”          

The Governing Body is holding a special meeting on Monday to vote on a revised resolution to approve hanging the banners.

When they are all up they will hang until Veterans Day and be rehung next year beginning on Memorial Day.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.