Nearly a year after it was first proposed, the city of Murrieta on Friday unveiled its Active-Duty Military Banner Program.
Banners depicting the portraits of three local service members were perched on street poles along California Oaks Road in time for Veterans Day.
"These posters that shall be visible in this location for the next year are Murrieta's very small way of saying thank you for your heroism, dedication and commitment to freedom," said Mayor Pro Tem Rick Gibbs.
Gibbs, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was among those who in October 2011 first suggested bringing the banner program to Murrieta.
In April, city council approved the Active-Duty Military Banner Program. Solely for Murrieta residents who are active duty, the program is overseen by the city's Community Services Department and Veterans Memorial Committee. The banners are funded through donations, some of which have come from the Rotary Club of Murrieta.
California Oaks Road and Murrieta Hot Springs Road were designated for the banner displays, each of which hangs for up to one year.
On Friday near California Oaks Sports Park, sunlight glinted off the newly-installed banners of Marine Lance Cpl. Aaron Dean, Marine Chief Warrant Officer 4 Trevor Dempsey, and Marine Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Klepsa.
"You have our thanks for we understand the sacrifices that you make, as well as your anxiety and concerns," Gibbs said, to their family members.
"Our all volunteer Armed Forces are the best the world has ever seen. But they depend upon the patriotism of our nation's young men and women. Enlisting during the last 11 years of Global War On Terror requires a commitment to a cause no less noble than the defense of our way of life."