MIAMI COUNTY — The Troy-Miami County Public Library and the Miami Valley Veterans Museum partnered together, along with dozens of community members, to dedicate a Veterans Memorial on the north side of the library on Monday.
Mitch Fogle, executor director of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum said the memorial will be a place of honor and reflection for all veterans.
“Our freedom was paid for,” Fogle shared, noting the sacrifices members of the military and their families. “It’s a big job and I’m very proud of how this turned out.”
Fogle, along with Rachelle Miller, executive director of the Troy-Miami County Public Library, thanked the many contributors to the Veterans Memorial.
Mayor Michael Beamish said the project was a great example of the city’s pride, honor and respect for all veterans.
“Patriotism is alive and well in Troy, Ohio, ” Beamish said. “We care about our veterans, we care about our community and we care about our country.”
Beamish thanked the crowd for attending and thanked all of those who contributed to memorial project.
Miami Valley Veterans Museum Board President Tristan Weis, a veteran, said memorials such as the one being dedicated at the library, means a lot to veterans of all ages.
“This means the community is still looking out for us and still remembering the veterans services — the veterans before us, the veterans now, and the veterans in the future,” Weis said. Weis said memorials like the one at the library show the community’s youth military service is still valued and appreciated.
“Here at the public library, I can’t ask for a better spot to have this,” he said. “It’s somewhere people are already coming for education and learning and having the memorial here just reinforces that.”
Glenn Devers gave the service invocation and Abby Smith played Taps to close the ceremony.
Howard Cheney, a donor to the project, said he was glad to help with the memorial.
“I wanted to help them out all I could and asked them what they were in need of and they gave me the general idea and so I went to bat for them — it’s well-deserving,” Cheney said.
Jeff Schlarman spent 30 to 35 hours after clocking out of work to help with the project.
Schlarman said he learned about the project on social media and answered the call to help.
“It will be cool to see grand kids or whoever to come through to see it and for the rest of my family who do serve, for them to come back and it be a memorial to them, too,” Schlarman said. Schlarman contacted many vendors to assist in the donation of materials, labor and site work for the project.
The memorial, located on the north-side of the library, includes a granite-style bench, a new flag pole and insignia of each military branch at its base.
The Veterans Memorial Supporters include: The Troy Foundation for the flag pole and landscaping; Jeff Schlarman and Shook Construction for concrete work and materials; Ernst Concrete, Hageman Trucking, Marietta Martin Materials for concrete, gravel and hauling; Howard Cheney, Rich Egbert, Mitchell Fogle, Lora and Stephen Larck, Patty Rose, Miami Valley Veterans Museum, Snyder Brick and Block, for bench, pavers, and monetary support; Greentech Lawn and Irrigation for landscaping; and flags donated in memory of Bobby Houser.
Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews