Southampton Town Councilwoman Cyndi McNamara, seen here Monday, said the town...

Southampton Town Councilwoman Cyndi McNamara, seen here Monday, said the town has "been thinking about doing something for our veterans beyond parades for a long time.” The town is bringing the “Hometown Heroes” program to Hampton Bays next year. Credit: Tom Lambui

Southampton Town will pay tribute to military service members and veterans next year with a new “Hometown Heroes” program in Hampton Bays.

The town has partnered with Westhampton VFW Post 5350 on the initiative to honor town residents who have served their country.

“We’ve been thinking about doing something for our veterans beyond parades for a long time,” said Councilwoman Cyndi McNamara, a liaison to the town’s veterans affairs committee.

Modeled after a similar program in Huntington, the program will feature the names and photographs of veterans or active service members who currently or formerly lived in the town. The banners will also list their military branch and years of service and the name of the person or organization who sponsored the banner.

The banners will be hung on the 30 light poles that line the parking lot of Good Ground Park on Squiretown Road in Hampton Bays and will be displayed from Memorial Day through Veterans Day 2023.

Submissions will be on a first-come, first-served basis. A waiting list will begin after the initial 30 honorees are chosen.

While other towns, including nearby Riverhead, have chosen to display the banners in downtown areas, McNamara said beautification efforts that include the installation of flower pots to light poles made that difficult to do in Southampton.

Good Ground was chosen because it has a one-way entrance and exit, so anyone visiting the park, which is well-known for its natural amphitheater and summer concert series, will pass each banner. Sponsors can choose to honor a current service member, living veteran or a banner in memory of a deceased vet.

“I think it brings it home when you see faces and names and it’s people in your community who you know,” McNamara said.

Because Southampton is anticipating lots of interest in the program, the first 30 banners are expected to hang from Memorial Day through Aug. 1, with 30 more replacing them through Veterans Day. Once the banners come down, they are given to the sponsor to keep.

The town’s community relations department will manage the program and the VFW will handle the money associated with the sponsorships. The cost of each banner is expected to be about $200, though the price has not been finalized. The money left over after the banners have been purchased will be used to fund veterans’ programs through the VFW.

“These types of remembrances are very important,” said Post 5350 commander William Hughes. “They tell people about the veteran down the street … about who they were before they became the person they are now.”

McNamara hopes the initiative will be expanded to more locations in future years so even more service members can be honored.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman called the program “a good idea” at a Nov. 10 work session.

“It’s a very nice thing to do,” the supervisor remarked.

The Town Board is expected to formally authorize the program and approve the purchase of brackets that will be attached to light poles in the park at its meeting Tuesday.

Southampton Town will pay tribute to military service members and veterans next year with a new “Hometown Heroes” program in Hampton Bays.

The town has partnered with Westhampton VFW Post 5350 on the initiative to honor town residents who have served their country.

“We’ve been thinking about doing something for our veterans beyond parades for a long time,” said Councilwoman Cyndi McNamara, a liaison to the town’s veterans affairs committee.

Modeled after a similar program in Huntington, the program will feature the names and photographs of veterans or active service members who currently or formerly lived in the town. The banners will also list their military branch and years of service and the name of the person or organization who sponsored the banner.

The banners will be hung on the 30 light poles that line the parking lot of Good Ground Park on Squiretown Road in Hampton Bays and will be displayed from Memorial Day through Veterans Day 2023.

Submissions will be on a first-come, first-served basis. A waiting list will begin after the initial 30 honorees are chosen.

While other towns, including nearby Riverhead, have chosen to display the banners in downtown areas, McNamara said beautification efforts that include the installation of flower pots to light poles made that difficult to do in Southampton.

Good Ground was chosen because it has a one-way entrance and exit, so anyone visiting the park, which is well-known for its natural amphitheater and summer concert series, will pass each banner. Sponsors can choose to honor a current service member, living veteran or a banner in memory of a deceased vet.

“I think it brings it home when you see faces and names and it’s people in your community who you know,” McNamara said.

Because Southampton is anticipating lots of interest in the program, the first 30 banners are expected to hang from Memorial Day through Aug. 1, with 30 more replacing them through Veterans Day. Once the banners come down, they are given to the sponsor to keep.

The town’s community relations department will manage the program and the VFW will handle the money associated with the sponsorships. The cost of each banner is expected to be about $200, though the price has not been finalized. The money left over after the banners have been purchased will be used to fund veterans’ programs through the VFW.

“These types of remembrances are very important,” said Post 5350 commander William Hughes. “They tell people about the veteran down the street … about who they were before they became the person they are now.”

McNamara hopes the initiative will be expanded to more locations in future years so even more service members can be honored.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman called the program “a good idea” at a Nov. 10 work session.

“It’s a very nice thing to do,” the supervisor remarked.

The Town Board is expected to formally authorize the program and approve the purchase of brackets that will be attached to light poles in the park at its meeting Tuesday.

Program features

  • Names and photographs of veterans or active service members who currently or formerly lived in the town.
  • The banners will list their military branch and years of service and the name of the person or organization who sponsored the banner.
  • The banners will be hung on the 30 light poles that line the parking lot of Good Ground Park on Squiretown Road in Hampton Bays and will be displayed from Memorial Day through Veterans Day 2023.