CARLSBAD — A crowd of family, friends and city staff gathered on Roosevelt Street April 14 in the Carlsbad Village to celebrate the service of U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mario Carazo, honored with a banner saluting his military service.
Carazo, a decorated serviceman, served in the Marines for nearly 20 years and was killed in combat in June 2010. The banner in his memory was sponsored by neighbors on the Carlsbad street where his wife and two children still live.
“Every time I drive past the banner of Mario, I will remember the good times we shared in our neighborhood,” said Glen Van Peski, Carazo’s neighbor and city of Carlsbad senior civil engineer. “The banner is definitely a way to keep the community connected to our local heroes.
The city’s military banner program, Salute to Our Military Heroes, provides an opportunity for the community to celebrate the achievements of their military loved ones in their hometown.
The banner displays a military hero’s name, picture and armed forces branch. Banners will adorn the city’s downtown Village area on the streets named for past U.S. presidents.
“Programs such as this are a great way to bring the community together,” said Debbie Fountain, the city of Carlsbad’s Housing & Neighborhood Services Department director. “We celebrate as an entire community and value the historical meaning within our village.”
To qualify for a banner, the military hero must be a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and a resident of the city of Carlsbad or have an immediate family member who is a Carlsbad resident sponsor the banner.
The cost is $405, which includes installation, hardware and eventual removal of the banner. Banners will be displayed for a minimum of one year. Military banners will be given to the hero’s family after a year on display.
“San Diego County is an area rich with military history, and countless Carlsbad residents are either currently listed as active duty or have at one time served in the armed forces,” Fountain said. “This banner program is a way for residents to honor their loved ones and celebrate their bravery and dedicated service.”
For more information, call the city of Carlsbad Housing & Neighborhood Services Department at (760) 434-2815 or visit carlsbadca.gov/redevelopment.