DOWNEY - Recognizing the bravery of resident Downey servicemen and women who are currently serving overseas, have been overseas recently, or about to be deployed, has caught hold in Downey with military banners bearing their names and service affiliations flying, for now, along that stretch of Firestone Boulevard between Lakewood and Paramount boulevards.The Downey military banners program, conceived and pushed through by Roger Brossmer right after he was sworn in about a year and a half ago as council member, is also open to a family member or relative of a Downey resident. In its original wording, the program is designed to "support, recognize, and express appreciation" to the bravery and sacrifice of the parties mentioned. Brossmer says he took inspiration from what he saw during his visits to other cities and, upon further inquiry, learned that it's never too late to adopt the program. Today, it appears that residents of cities like South Gate, Norwalk and Cerritos have made representations to their city councils to adopt a similar program of their own. City Hall's Juddy Ceniceros, who is helping deputy assistant city manager Scott Pomrehn administer the program, says Cerritos especially has made inquiries about the specifics of Downey's program. The 55 banners honoring the names of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine personnel currently line both sides of the Firestone Boulevard downtown corridor, and it's indeed a sight to see. "It is my hope," says Brossmer, "that the flags will eventually stretch from the city's eastern to its western limits along Firestone." Upon completion of active duty, or at the end of the conflict, the honoree will have the option of leaving his banner flying indefinitely or be presented with it by the mayor and City Council at a Council meeting. The banner costs nothing to the honoree, but donations are most welcome, says Pomrehn, to cover future costs. So far, the 55 banners already in place cost about $7,000 all told. Financing has come from "seed money" provided by the city of $4,500 and the balance accounted for by voluntary contributions. Pomrehn says he hopes family members, residents, organizations and business owners will continue to wholeheartedly support the program. In the meantime, according to Ceniceros, 17 more applications have been received and are being processed. For further information, to request an application, or make a donation, call (562) 904-1895.
********** Published: July 8, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 12