Sunday, November 11, 2001

New memorials pay tribute to veterans

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Patriot Pointe Veteran's Memorial.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        New memorials to U.S. war veterans will be dedicated today in Sharonville and Batavia, reflecting the rising interest among Americans in paying tribute to those who battled for their country.

        Memorials are also planned or have been recently dedicated in a half-dozen other Tristate communities. Though the memorials were conceived prior to the war against terrorism, there is no dispute about their timeliness.

        Lebanon resident John Kellis, whose father flew B-24 bombers over Germany during World War II, recently helped dedicate a black World War II memorial in Hillsboro's Liberty Park.

        “We planned this thing way before ... Sept. 11, but now it hits home 10 times more than it would have before,” Mr. Kellis said. “If we don't do something very soon, they're not going to be here to feel our thanks.”

        In Batavia, two bronze plaques with the names of 144 Clermont County veter ans will be dedicated during today's annual Veterans Day Parade.

        Also to be dedicated is the Donald E. Patton Memorial at the Heritage Building. Mr. Patton, who died in July, was a member of the Veterans' Service Commission and the Clermont County Veterans' Service Officer for 24 years.

        “You're talking about people who gave their lives for this country and the freedoms that we enjoy today,” says Lance D. Woodward, director and senior service officer of the Veterans' Service Commission in Clermont County.

        “It's important for the younger generation to understand the sacrifices that were made by those who went before. If we forget, shame on us.”

        In Mason, a memorial honoring veterans of all wars is scheduled to be dedicated following the September 2002 opening of the new Mason municipal center.

        But Cay Steinhauer, chairwoman of the design committee for the Mason Veterans Memorial, said the memorial may be altered because of the U.S. war against terrorism.

        Enclosed by a low wall, the memorial will feature eight granite monuments. Seven represent significant wars in American history. The eighth is supposed to stand as the hope for peace, but it could become a monument for the current war, Mrs. Steinhauer said.

        The project will cost $1.4 million, with most of the money coming from private donations.

        “I think the veterans deserve everything they can possibly get,” she said. “They sacrificed a lot and so did their families. I think they don't get enough credit.”

        Farther from home, site preparation work began in August for a national memorial between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., to honor World War II veterans, who are dying at a rate of more than 1,000 each day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The memorial will be dedicated in the spring of 2004.

        Other Tristate communities planning memorials:

        • In Covington's Latonia neighborhood, plans are under way to build a Korean War Memorial. The Veterans of Foreign War Post 6095, American Legion Post 203 and Ritte's East Neighborhood Group have coordinated the fund raising and design. Phase I, which could begin by year's end, will include excavation and concrete work. The centerpiece of the $48,000 memorial project will be a 4-foot-6-inch tall cast iron, two-tiered fountain.

        • Sharonville's Patriot Pointe Veteran's Memorial is the city's first memorial to U.S. war veterans. The city is contributing $550,000 of the $720,000 for construction of the project, which will be dedicated in ceremonies today.

        • In Middletown, a committee of veterans chaired by 12th District Court of Appeals Judge Anthony Val en is working to have a war memorial built. The memorial could include flags, benches and brick pavers, and may cost between $50,000 and $150,000. The monument could be in place by 2003.

        • Fairfield is preparing for Phase II of its veterans memorial, which was dedicated last year. The addition, which will include a military statuary and brick pavers, will be dedicated Memorial Day 2002.

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