“We are here to support him,” said Connie Torres, who received a Blue Star Service Banner honoring her grandson, Cpl. Andrew Yzabal, a Marine serving in Iraq. “We may not strongly believe in what President Bush is doing, but we strongly support him.” City spokesman Bob Spencer said future plans call for the city to honor all active-duty military personnel with ties to Pico Rivera. “We had to start somewhere, and this is a good place to start,” said Ramirez. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The banners complement the city’s Hometown Heroes campaign launched earlier this month, officials said. That program involves banners with local soldiers’ names hung along major streets here. “This is a small token of our appreciation to these soldiers and their families,” Mayor Pete Ramirez said. “We all want them to return safely from the fronts.” Initiating the Blue Star program was overdue for Pico Rivera, Ramirez said. “Finally, somebody’s saying thank you to these soldiers and their families. We should have done this a long time ago,” he said. The red-trimmed, 8-inch wide, 15-inch long Blue Star Service Banners first appeared during World War I, designed by an Army captain in 1917. They became popular again during World War II. Most recently, cities, including La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs, Whittier and now Pico Rivera, have revived the tradition to honor residents serving in the military. PICO RIVERA – A window decal adorned with a single blue star may be simple in design, but to long-time Pico Rivera resident Mario Granado, it signifies a great accomplishment. “It symbolizes pride for what my son’s doing for the country, for himself and for the city,” Granado said Wednesday. His son is Lance Cpl. Michael Granado, a U.S. Marine who has been in Iraq for about a month. He is scheduled to return home this fall, his father said. Mario Granado was among seven Pico Rivera parents and relatives who received Blue Star Service Banners at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, honoring their sons and daughters serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.