(Posted Nov. 16, 2017)
By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer
The unveiling of a new tribute to local veterans took place Nov. 11, Veterans Day, in Mount Sterling. Standing in the gazebo park across from village hall, the black granite monument is engraved with the following message on both sides: “Dedicated to the men and women of Mt. Sterling who honorably served their country.”
“This has been a project three years in the making,” said Chris Siscoe, director of the Mount Sterling Public Library. “Originally, we had a World War I monument on display in the village, and there was a push to get that back into the community. However, the movement evolved into a monument celebrating all veterans.
“We have well over 1,000 veterans who have served from Mount Sterling,” he continued. “These veterans made our freedom today possible, so we felt it was important that we recognize this. We also felt this was the least we can do for them.”
Several different individuals and community entities have leant a hand to the project over the years. Donations from local residents and businesses helped to cover the monument’s cost, approximately $18,000.
Jay-Car Construction of Mount Sterling prepped the site and poured the concrete foundation. Dodd’s Monuments, with offices in Xenia and Lebanon, Ohio, created the monument.
According to Lisa Schwartz of Jay-Car Construction and chairman of the Mount Sterling Community Center board, the monument and its placement were designed to allow for expansion.
“We plan on laying bricks around the monument,” Schwartz said. “The bricks will cost around $40 apiece and will be different sizes.”
Donors can have the names of Mount Sterling area veterans or active service members engraved on the brick pavers. Project organizers hope to have this masonry part of the project finished in the next 12 months.
About the monument’s purpose, acting Mount Sterling Mayor Lowell Anderson said, “We must teach the younger generations what it means to be an American. “Today, less than one in 200 people serve, so we need to educate those who may never serve on the sacrifice others have made for our freedom.”
Courtney Brick-er, the village’s fiscal officer, echoed this sentiment.
“This monument shows our appreciation for those who have served,” she said. “We live in the land of the free, and we need to honor those who have made that possible.”
Anyone who wants to learn more about the new Mount Sterling Veterans Monument or sponsor a brick in honor of a veteran can contact Lisa Schwartz at Jay-Car Construction, (740) 869-2144.