Know Ohio: Places honoring Ohio's vets

 ABOUT 866 THOUSAND VETERANS LIVE HERE IN OHIO, AND WITH THIS MANY HEROES LIVING AMONG US, IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT WE HAVE A NUMBER OF PLACES DEDICATED TO THEIR BRAVE SACRIFICE.  KNOW OHIO’S MARY FECTEAU TAKES YOU TO A FEW OF THESE SPECIAL PLACES.
 
IN OHIO, OUR VETERANS ARE A REAL SOURCE OF PRIDE. BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN FROM THE BUCKEYE STATE HAVE SERVED IN EVERY MAJOR CONFLICT IN OUR COUNTRY’S HISTORY, AND WE’VE FOUND MANY WAYS TO HONOR THEM OVER THE YEARS – DEDICATING MONUMENTS, PARKS, AND BRIDGES TO THEM.  

 ONE SUCH MONUMENT LIES RIGHT IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND. THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT WAS BUILT IN 1894 TO HONOR THE CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS AND SAILORS FROM CUYAHOGA COUNTY. IT’S DESIGNER -- ARCHITECT AND CIVIL WAR VETERAN LEVI SCOFIELD – WAS SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROJECT THAT HE WORKED ON IT FOR OVER 7 YEARS WITHOUT COMPENSATION, AND USED MUCH OF HIS OWN MONEY TO CREATE IT. THIS 125 FOOT-TALL MONUMENT, FEATURES LIFE-LIKE BRONZE STATUES REPRESENTING THE FOUR BRANCHES OF THE UNION ARMY – THE NAVY, CAVALRY, INFANTRY, AND ARTILLERY, AND IT’S TOPPED WITH A BRONZE “GODDESS OF LIBERTY” STATUE, REPRESENTING LOYALTY TO THE UNITED STATES.  
 
BUT, THIS MONUMENT HAS A LITTLE SURPRISE, THAT, AT FIRST GLANCE, YOU MIGHT NOT NOTICE! IT ACTUALLY HAS AN INSIDE – WHICH IS POSSIBLY EVEN COOLER THAN THE OUTSIDE. THE ROOM INSIDE IS LINED WITH MARBLE TABLETS LISTING 9,000 CIVIL WAR VETERANS FROM CUYAHOGA COUNTY. THERE’S ALSO FOUR BRONZE SCULPTURES DEPICTING DIFFERENT PERIODS OF THE CIVIL WAR, AS WELL AS BUSTS OF FAMOUS COLONEL JAMES BARNETT, AND OFFICERS KILLED IN ACTION. SCOFIELD’S MONUMENT WAS FULLY RESTORED IN 2008, AND IS A PROMINENT PART OF THE RECENTLY RENOVATED PUBLIC SQUARE.
 
FARTHER DOWN SOUTH, IN CLINTON, IS A PARK CONSISTING OF A SERIES OF MONUMENTS ALL DESIGNED TO HONOR ANOTHER GENERATION OF VETERANS – THOSE FROM THE VIETNAM WAR. THE PARK FEATURES A 125-FOOT LONG, BLACK GRANITE WALL WITH THE NAMES OF THE 3,095 OHIOANS LOST DURING THE VIETNAM WAR. CLOSE TO THE WALL, ARE STONE STATUES DEPICTING GOLD STAR PARENTS – PARENTS OF SOLDIERS WHO WERE KILLED IN WAR.  
 
THE NEWEST INSTALLMENT AT THE PARK HONORS OHIO’S MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS. THE MEDAL OF HONOR IS CONSIDERED THE HIGHEST MILITARY HONOR GIVEN IN THE UNITED STATES – AND OVER 300 OHIOANS HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE HONOR. SEVERAL MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS WERE ON HAND AT THE DEDICATION CEREMONY OF THE MEMORIAL – INCLUDING OHIO’S HERSHEL "WOODY" WILLIAMS THE LAST LIVING MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT TO FIGHT IN THE MAJOR BATTLE OF IWO JIMA DURING WORLD WAR II.   SPEAKING OF WORLD WAR II, DID YOU KNOW THAT ONE OF THE LARGEST MEMORIALS TO WORLD WAR II VETERANS OUTSIDE OF WASHINGTON, DC, IS IN OHIO? FOR A LONG TIME, THE SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN OF MARION COUNTY WERE COMMEMORATED ONLY WITH A DETERIORATING WOODEN STRUCTURE OUTSIDE THE COURTHOUSE, BUT A SMALL GROUP OF CITIZENS KNEW THE VETERANS DESERVED BETTER – AND THE COMMITTED GROUP RAISED MONEY TO BUILD THE WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL AT MARION CEMETERY. THERE, THE NAMES OF LOCAL MEN & WOMEN, WHO AIDED IN THE WAR, ARE INSCRIBED ON AN AWE-INSPIRING BLACK GRANITE STRUCTURE.
 
ON THE BACK OF THIS WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL IS A LINE THAT I THINK REALLY SUMS UP OUR VETERANS: "THEY SOUGHT NO BOUNTY, LEAVING PEACE IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS." 

Instructional Links

Website Article: Ohio Department of Veterans Services, Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, Medal of Honor Recipients

http://dvs.ohio.gov/VETERANS_HALL_OF_FAME/Inductees/CMOH_Recipients

Website Article: Ohio Department of Veterans Services, Ohio Veterans Home, Sandusky Veterans Home Military Museum

http://dvs.ohio.gov/VETERANS_HOMES/Sandusky_Home/Military_Museum

Website Article: U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery

http://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/ohiowesternreserve.asp

Website: National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Columbus, OH

http://www.nationalvmm.org

Website: Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Cleveland, OH

http://www.soldiersandsailors.com/index.htm

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