Angie Crouch, Scott Spiro
Torrance is honoring their residents with military ties with banners displaying their photos which hang from streetlight poles in front of City Hall on Torrance Boulevard. It's part of the inaugural Hometown Heroes Military Banner Recognition Program. Angie Crouch reports from Torrance for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on August 15, 2012.
The pictures of the proud men and women of Torrance who have sacrificed for our country now adorn banners that hang along Torrance Boulevard.
It's the city's ways of honoring its hometown heroes.
"Just having my son up on those banners is something that I can't describe," said Ruben Concetti, who is the father of a marine. "I'm so grateful for that."
Concetti and his wife Veronica started the Hometown Heroes Military Banner Recognition Program to pay tribute to their 20-year-old son Jonathan, a Marine training in Twentynine Palms.
"Mostly it's pride. I drive by here every single day. Every opportunity I get I drive by here and I tell him goodnight," said Veronica. "It's just great seeing his picture up there, along with the rest of the kids."
The South Bay community has a long tradition of military service, and is home to the only Armed Forces Day parade that's sanctioned by the Pentagon.
The city also has a massive veteran's memorial. Even the water fountain at City Hall is dedicated to military personnel.
The new banner program honors those who've died as well as those still serving.
Mayor Frank Scotto, a veteran, says it's the least the city can do to honor the young men and women who have sacrificed so much.
"Showing our respect and honor and thanks for these people that have done this -- it's just a great, extra program," Scotto said.
Relatives, friends or sponsors need to come up with the $220 to pay for the banners, and the families get to keep a framed copy of the banners.
"People can drive by and see, there's a kid, there's a girl," Veronica Concetti said. "You know that they're sacrificing their lives for us, or they're protecting us. We're very proud."