VACAVILLE (CBS13) — A popular program that honors local service members may soon be suspended.
Many cities have hung banners along busy streets to recognizing local military members but Vacaville officials want to take theirs down.READ MORE: Who Is Mark Lavea, Suspect Killed In San Andreas Hostage Situation?
In 2019, Vacaville launched a new program on Veteran’s Day honoring its hometown heroes who serve in the armed forces. The city hung 18 banners featuring the names and photos of local military members both retired and active duty.
“It’s an important thing, it makes me feel good like there’s who respect this country and want to serve and protect us,” Vacaville resident Joshua Newton said.
The banners hang from city light poles along Peabody Road, which leads to Travis Air Force Base.
“We have the ultimate respect for them and wanted this to be a very nice tribute,” Vacaville fire chief Kris Concepcion said.
The city soon learned that the flags were no match for mother nature. In less than a year, many of the banners have been badly damaged by the weather.
“They sustained wind damage and so the banners would get torn, some of them blew down because of the wind,” Concepcion said.
Vacaville installed 18 new banners last Memorial Day, but in less than three weeks, nine had been blown down. Since then, more have been destroyed.READ MORE: Trap, Tag, Haze: New Efforts To Get Bears To Behave In Tahoe Area
“Unfortunately with the delta winds, that’s probably the windiest part of the city,” Concepcion said.
Concepcion says the city hasn’t found any other sites that are not exposed to the strong Solano County winds.
“Turns out it’s a great place for windmills in that area, but as far as banners are concerned it can create quite the challenge,” he said.
But not everyone supports their removal.
“I think it’s important to us to keep those banners up and not to mess with them. If those get ripped, replace them,” Newton said.
A tribute to those who honorably serve is now becoming a dishonorable eyesore.
“We want these to be a tribute and absolutely do not want to disrespect any of the veterans,” Concepcion said.MORE NEWS: Yuba City Neighborhood 'Traumatized' After High Speed Drivers Repeatedly Crash Into Homes
The program doesn’t cost taxpayers any money. The $200 cost of the banners is paid by the people who nominate a hometown hero.