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Township honoring ‘Hometown Heroes’ with road banners

by Joan Hellyer

The Lower Southampton Township community is honoring its local military heroes by hoisting banners in their honor along Bustleton Pike.

Several Hometown Heroes banners have been placed on the busy roadway’s light poles from the Street Road area toward the township’s border with Philadelphia – and more will be going up as the 24” x 48” patriotic banners are purchased.

The township supervisors recognized the families and sponsors who have already purchased the first few dozen tributes during an emotional ceremony at their June 12th board meeting.

Members of U.S. Navy Ensign Sarah Mitchell’s family tearfully accepted the township’s recognition for their loved one and learned that not one, but two banners have been purchased in the Neshaminy graduate’s memory.

The first banner, purchased by township Supervisor Kim Koutsouradis, already is hanging on a pole across from the Buck Hotel.

Staff members at Poquessing Middle School also have purchased a second banner in memory of the 23-year-old Mitchell, who died in 2018 after suffering injuries in a small-boat training accident in the Red Sea.

“Everyone in the township has been so good to us,” Mitchell’s mother, Betsy, said after the ceremony. “How do you thank them?”

The honorees can be military personnel from all different eras, who served their country during war and peacetime.

The banners cost $134 each and can include a photo, service member’s name, branch and time of service.

The banners will be displayed each year between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, township officials said.

John Busch and his family purchased a banner for his father, Harry W. Busch, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

“It is a great way to honor everyone,” John Busch said.

The township is continuing to accept orders for more Hometown Heroes banners, said Supervisors’ Chairman Ray Weldie.

“I would put one on every street pole if I could,” said the U.S. Army veteran and retired police officer.

Go to lowersouthamptontownship.org/hometown-heroes-banner-program/ for more information about the recognition program.

PHOTO CAP: U.S. Navy Ensign Sarah Mitchell’s “Hometown Heroes” banner on display.