Construction of Veterans Memorial Plaza begins

August 27th, 2009    Author: Marsha Mundy    Filed Under: News

A memorial to honor veterans in Clermont County which began with a donated Humvee is becoming a reality in Batavia Township.

The Humvee, which will serve as the centerpiece, was donated by BAE Systems more than two years ago.

“Just as the helicopter represents the mode of transportation for Vietnam veterans, the Humvee represents the mode of transportation used by our military serving in the Middle East. This Humvee was destroyed while in use and has been refurbished by BAE Systems, of Fairfield,” said Gertrud Whitaker, field representative for Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.

Batavia Township officials broke ground for the Veterans Memorial Plaza on Tuesday, Aug. 25. Those who participated are, from left, former township trustee Jim Bushman; county auditor Linda Fraley; township fiscal officer Jennifer Haley; county recorder Debbie Clepper; county commissioners Bob Proud and Ed Humphrey; convention and visitor
A Military War Memorial Committee, led by Clermont County Auditor Linda Fraley, was formed two years ago to raise funds for the planned memorial. The committee turned over their plans to Batavia Township trustees when the economy took a turn for the worse and since May 2009, the trustees have taken the Humvee on the road to festivals and public gatherings raising funds for the proposed memorial. Donations are still needed to help cover the cost of the memorial.

Fraley noted that knowing the right people helped in making the memorial a reality.

"I'm so proud of this community for making this happen," said Schmidt.

The Humvee will serve as the centerpiece for the memorial which will be located at the entrance of the Batavia Township Community Park. Landscaping around the vehicle will depict a desert terrain with sand and rocks. Benches will be available for seating and the memorial back drop will feature flags from each branch of the military. It is estimated that the cost of the memorial will be $66,000 and a number of fund-raisers have been held to help raise the needed funds.

"We have received donations from members of the community making this memorial belong to the community," said Batavia Township Administrator Rex Parsons.

Donations for the project can be sent to Veterans Memorial Plaza, 1535 Clough Pike, Batavia, Ohio, 45103.

"We do very well in Clermont County to show support to our veterans and their families," said June Creager-Mason, executive director of the Clermont County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Veterans Memorial Plaza is expected to be complete by Veteran's Day, Nov. 11. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for that date according to Batavia Township Trustee Archie Wilson.

"We invite everyone to come back here on Nov. 11 for the dedication," said Wilson.

In addition to the memorial, Parsons noted that the park has added some new activities for area residents.

"We have added a basketball court to the park and we are slowly but surely turning into a destination location," said Parsons. "We now have teether ball, sand volleyball and horse shoe pits are coming soon. We will also have corn hole available. Come on down and bring the family."
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