Let us just preface by saying that The Sun not only supports our troops, we are a big supporter of the Hometown Heroes project started nearly two years ago by Hamburg resident Sue Jantzi.
The idea of putting faces on banners throughout the Village of Hamburg as a way to offer support and say thank you to the soldiers who fight or have fought for our freedom every day is a fitting way to show support to our troops.
The Village of Hamburg has been a big supporter of the project. In July of 2011, Jantzi, while visiting her sister in the Rochester suburb of Spencerport, saw banners of local soldiers, contacted the mayor there and brought the idea to the Hamburg Village Board.
They supported the idea and by Veteran’s Day of 2011, the first couple banners were hung. By the spring of 2012, flags were hung starting on Buffalo Street near the roundabout at Clark Street and Legion Drive, and can be seen up until about Union Street.
Recently Jantzi came before the village board and asked that they allow banners to be placed along Main Street. This would increase the number of flags flying in the village from around 30 to 40. The village said no to her request.
When the first flags were being placed, Jantzi said at that time there would be no flags in the Main Street district because the poles there are not tall enough to be able to fly them.
A year-and-a-half later, the poles are still not tall enough to support them and they should not hang on Main Street.
We want to see this project continue to prosper, but the bottom line is before Jantzi can come before the village board and demand that they allow flags to be placed along Main, she needs to live up to her end of the bargain.
She said at that time the flags would be down in November.
The reasons for this were in part because she wanted to present the flags to the families as part of a ceremony, but also because she did not want to see them deteriorate in the bad weather during the winter months.
They were supposed to be up from around April 1 to early November.
This means they should have been down more than three months ago and new banners should be getting ready to be raised in just over a month.
We understand there is trial and error in a project such as this. And we certainly do not want to see this become a battle. The bottom line is, this is supposed to be a way of honoring those who have battled for us. Leave the fighting elsewhere.
The reality is, when the village agreed to back this endeavor, it was with rules and parameters in mind. Coming before the board and demanding these additions to be made is counterproductive to the cause.
Instead, now should be the time to figure out how to enhance the project more, not make it seem as if you are trying to throw the village board under the bus because they are making you stick with the program that you agreed to in the first place.
At the same time, the village can not start making exceptions to the rule.
There aren’t new poles along Main Street. Which means if it wouldn’t work in the fall of 2011, it is not going to work in February of 2013.
Instead of continuing to battle over an issue that the village is right about, then wouldn’t it make more sense for the two sides to sit down and talk about how to make it even better?
We all want to see this project grow and for the focus to be where it should be – to say thank you and honor the brave men and women who fight for our freedom every day.
That is what the heart of the project is about, and what it needs to get back to being about.