Saturday, September 29, 2001

Warren County

Memorial a peaceful respite

        As America unites over the recent terrorist attacks, Butler and Warren counties are awash in U.S. flags and related items. I don't think I've ever seen so many flags, especially along Ohio 4 in Hamilton.

        Fairfield has its own contribution.

        The other day I discovered the city's recently completed Veterans Memorial Park, across from the post office and between the former library and bank buildings on Wessel Drive.

        I parked the car and walked around the small park. With the memory of the attacks still on my mind, the park offered a refreshing respite.

        It has mature trees of different types; a large gazebo; a landscaped yard; brick sidewalks (including the names of donors); a camouflaged cannon; state, city and U.S. flags; and two marble benches. The benches display the logos of America's armed services and the inscription “Dedicated to all veterans ... past, present and future.”

        The park is a peaceful place, with a sound like a rolling stream in woods. That's because of the park's major piece — a large rectangular marble slab with water gently flowing over the top. On it are these words: “Tears for the Fallen.”

        It features the POW/MIA logo and says, “You are not forgotten.”

        Neither are the donors and the men and women who will be asked to fight the new war on terrorism.

        FAIRFIELD — Betsey Exline of Hamilton has the patriotic spirit.

        The founder of Seniors Taking Action, a lobbying and informational group, watched the recent events unfold with horror. Then she decided to do something.

        She has organized a community fund-raising concert, called United We Stand, featuring the U.S. Air Force Band of Flight.

        It will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Fairfield High School Arena, which seats 3,600-3,800 people.

        “We hope to fill it,” she said. “We'll take up a collection for the New York firefighters and police relief fund. I'm getting the various high school choral groups involved.”

        She said the Hamilton and Fairfield fire departments will bring firetrucks from which to hang a flag.

        “This will show people how we feel,” she said.

        Fairfield High School is at 8800 Holden Blvd. It can be reached by taking Ohio 4 to Holden.

        HAMILTON — Jim Bruckman, a docent with the Cincinnati Heritage Program, will show slides and tell stories about Cincinnati's golden age of breweries at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1.

        The event will be in the Ritchie Auditorium, behind the Butler County Historical Society's museum, at 327 N. Second St.

        Mr. Bruckman's family owned the Cumminsville Brewery from 1856 to 1949. In 1860, Cincinnati had 36 breweries, and 26 lasted until just before Prohibition.

        In those days, he said, Cincinnatians consumed 40 gallons of beer per person — 24 more gallons than the national average.

        Randy McNutt's column appears on Saturday. Contact him at The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Drive, West Chester, OH 45069. Telephone: 755-4158. Fax: 755-4150. E-mail:


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