Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Town completes Veterans Monument

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MOUNT HEALTHY — An artillery piece added to the Veterans Monument makes this community the latest to add military hardware to such a memorial.

        The Veterans Monument went up three years ago and is intended to honor all military veterans, not just those who have fought in wars.

        The three-inch anti-tank gun, which dates to 1943, was mounted on a concrete pad in March and placed adjacent to the monument.

        Officials of the Mount Healthy Veterans Monument Committee say they got the idea of adding an artillery piece from neighboring areas such as Norwood and Green Township, which have added tanks to their memorials.

        The artillery piece in Mount Healthy formerly occupied a spot in front of the City Hall in Pemberton, Ohio. Because the piece was run down, officials there agreed to give it to Mount Healthy, where community members refurbished it.

        “We wanted to set the rest of the monument off,” said Don Crank, chairman of the committee and president of City Council. “We wanted to try and find something like what Norwood and Green Township had done. It showcases the monument, I believe.”

        More than a year ago Norwood had added an M60A3 tank to its Victory Park on Montgomery Road with the help of American Legion Post 123.

        Green Township has had a tank for the past couple of years at its Veterans Park on Harrison Avenue.

        Mr. Crank said they had contacted the office of U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, asking about adding an artillery piece, and in turn were contacted by the Pentagon. One was availablein Pemberton.

        Gregg Cutter, secretary of the committee and a city employee, said the committee picked up the artillery piece from the front of the Pemberton City Hall .

        Mr. Crank said they got permission from the city to add the artillery piece, then poured the concrete pad for it. It took a week to prepare the piece, Mr. Cutter said. They had to strip it down, refurbish and paint it.

        What had been a rusting, gray gun was turned into a sharp artillery piece painted Army olive green. It was installed at the beginning of March.

        “It adds a lot to the me morial,” Mr. Cutter said. “Something was missing. You see these other memorials around, and they've got military pieces.”

        The committee was formed about four years ago, then went about raising funds — $25,000 — to build a monument to military veterans. Mr. Crank emphasizes that the monument is not a war memorial, but a tribute to all veterans “in time of peace and war.”

        The monument was completed in time for the Memorial Day celebration of 1997. The committee also recently completed a Web site for the monument (www.maxpages.com/mhvm).

        “Everybody is starting to upgrade their monuments,” Mr. Crank said.


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