The Hometown Hero banner of James Newton is displayed on the 200 block of Liberty St. in downtown Warren.

Blue Star Mothers Address Council, Hoping to Expand Hometown Heroes Banner Program

February 16, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – The Blue Star Mothers of Kinzua facilitated the 13 Hometown Heroes banners put up on Liberty St. in downtown Warren to honor military personnel last summer, and they hope it’s just the beginning.

Skyla Govier, president of the Kinzua chapter of Blue Star Mothers, said they were hoping to use the initial banners on Liberty St. as a pilot program, with the goal of expanding to other municipalities in Warren County.

“We were originally going to do 50, then settled on 13,” Govier said. “We were going to use Warren as our pilot program and reach out to other boroughs and townships. We would love to see our whole city lined with veterans. We already have 100 people on our list (for banners).”

For the program to move forward, they need an agreement with the city, which Mayor Dave Wortman said he hopes to have in place by March.

“March is the timeline we are looking at,” Wortman said, stressing that it would create enough time for more banners to be hung by Memorial Day.

Penelec allowed the use of its poles for the initial banners, but Penelec requires the city’s permission. The banners also require insurance, which the Blue Star mothers have taken care of.

Govier said their qualifications for the banners are active duty or retired veterans who were either born or lived in Warren County.

“Warren County has a very proud service record with the US military,” Wortman said. “I think it’s fantastic. I just want to get through some of the nitty-gritty details as far as getting things to come together.”

As Wortman alluded to, council just wants to make sure the city is covered from a legal standpoint before moving forward.

“It’s not out of line to have legal questions relative to entering into a legal agreement with an outside entity,” Wortman said.

That being said, support for the program is there from the council, with Govier also noting that Warren County has the highest amount of veterans per capita in the state of Pennsylvania.

“I fully support this program and would like to see an agreement continue,” Council Vice President John Wortman said.

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