Recreating Hanagan's Heroes

By Kiersten Mathieu

July 22, 2010 Updated Feb 2, 2007 at 8:21 PM EDT

Hanagan's Tavern used to sit on the block on South Washington Street in Binghamton.

"Hanagan's was an institution. Everybody in the city came here. It was back when you could do the twist, the drinking age was 18 and we had a lot of fun," says Bill Grace of Hanagan's Heroes.

The draft took many of Hanagan's regulars overseas to fight in the Vietnam War.

More than 70 Hanagan's Heroes were listed on a cardboard sign inside the bar.

Including Bill Grace and Tim Grippen.

"There was someone who thanked you and put your name on the wall and thought you were a big deal. So it was a big deal for us," says Grippen.

The men are working on a permanent, historical monument honoring Hanagan's Heroes.

It will be placed here in the city's future Southside Commons.

It's just a few doors down from where Hanagan's used to be.

"When we came back there was no recognition. There was no bands, no music for you or anything. Except Hanagan's was here and had your names on his wall and that was the positive," says George Curley of Hanagan's Heroes.

At Southside Yanni's, the owner wants to recreate what was inside Hanagan's.

He plans to put a plaque on this wall honoring all of Hanagan's Heroes.

Along with the monument and the Yanni's plaque, Grace and Grippen also hope to see a mural of Hanagan's to be painted on this brick wall.

"Well 40 years ago today I was in Vietnam. So it feels good, the recognition and that somebody cares," says Phil Harris of Hanagan's Heroes.

Grace and Grippen hope this Memorial Day, they'll see the monument dedicated to Hanagan's Heroes.

The Hanagan's Heroes Project is reaching out to the public to contact them so no veterans are forgotten on the monument.

Contact Bill Grace at 722-5676.

The city received state funding to create Southside Commons.

Work is expected to start this year.

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