An outdoor memorial on the grounds of Community Hospice's Truman House in New Philadelphia will serve as a place of reflection and a permanent tribute to the area's military veterans. (Submitted photo)
New Philadelphia, Ohio - A place to reflect on the contributions of military veterans and pay tribute to lost loved ones is ready to be unveiled to the community.
A dedication ceremony for Community Hospice’s new Veterans Memorial is set for this Sunday, October 14, from 6 to 7 p.m. behind the Truman House in New Philadelphia.
Designed by local landscape architect and Pace Landscaping owner Mike Pace and funded through generous donations from the local community, the outdoor memorial features a 25-foot flagpole, embedded seating where visitors can sit and reflect, and a series of granite monoliths honoring each branch of service, prisoners of war (POWs), those missing in action (MIAs), and service families.
Erica Rozek is the communications coordinator for Community Hospice. She says the memorial is an extension of the organization’s ongoing effort to recognize and honor military veterans in the community.
“Honoring our veterans has always been a priority for Community Hospice. We’ve been working on a We Honor Veterans program that focuses on recognition and honoring veterans in the community, not just hospice patients that are veterans but just any veterans. We’ll go out into facilities and senior centers. We’ve done class reunions and done pinning ceremonies where we honor and acknowledge their service to our country,” she explains.
Rozek says the idea for a permanent memorial was one that was proposed by the organization’s team of volunteer veterans.
“They decided they wanted to do an actual physical location that the public can go or veterans can go or veterans can go just to show honor to those who have served. They worked really hard to seek funding from organizations and individuals in the community, and they were able to raise the funds to make it a reality,” she says.
Rozek says the volunteer committee, donors, Community Hospice staff members and others involved with the project will be on hand for Sunday’s public dedication of the $50,000 memorial.
“We’ll have Norm Mast, our president and CEO, explain the project and the motivation behind it, and then we’ll have a benediction and a blessing. The color guard will be involved, and we’re hoping to have a guest speaker do a proclamation for it. We will also have individuals play taps, and there will be refreshments afterward and an opportunity to check out the memorial,” she says.
Rozek says the memorial will be open year-round and available to the community. “It’s just a place for them to come and honor and reflect,” she says.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV