Organizers of the war memorial and several financial donors gathered at National Bank and Trust Company in Milford June 11 to present a check that will be used for the down payment on the centerpiece of the monument.
“Today is a highlight,” William Knepp, one of the organizers of the war memorial said.
Knepp said that with the help of donations from the individuals and organizations present, they were able to make a down payment on the centerpiece of the Korean War Memorial before the price of granite went up.
Nathan Ramsey and Amanda Maggard-Ramsey, with Maggard Memorial and Laser Art Technology, explained the urgency for the down payment.
“We couldn’t hold up the (price) upgrade in granite today,” Maggard-Ramsey said.
She said to be able to lock in the price for the granite centerpiece for the monument, the down payment had to be made June 11.
Local individuals, veterans and organizations including the Veterans’ Service Commission and the Troop Box Ministries pulled together to help fund the down payment on the centerpiece for the monument, which Knepp said was more than half of the $50,000 cost of the monument.
“You are the people, who by your generous donation, have brought us to the point to purchase this stone,” Knepp said.
He said individuals present who made a major donation will be part of the Gathering of Patriots, and will sign a document similar to the Declaration of Independence that will be displayed at the park.
The Korean War Memorial is just one feature of the Spirit of ’76 Memorial Gardens and Arboretum, a tribute to the nations history and veterans, located in Miami Meadows Park.
Miami Township Trustees donated approximately eight acres of the park to be used for the memorial gardens and arboretum in 2010.
Since then, there has been a ground breaking for the park and several projects have been completed in the park.
Most recently, students and administrators from Milford Exempted Village Schools unveiled granite benches that are located on the Trail of Freedom in the park.
The trail takes visitors through significant events in United States history, and the benches are engraved with important U.S. documents including the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and more.
Schools in the district raised money to fund the benches, and they were unveiled May 19.
“What is great is the amount of parents bringing their children up and stopping to read those benches,” Knepp said.
Knepp said the Korean War Memorial will be located near the end of the Trail of Freedom.
“That will be the highlight when you finish the trail,” he said.
Knepp, along with Robert Sterling and R.J. Vilardo, all Korean War veterans, are organizing the Korean War Memorial project, and have worked with individuals and organizations to raise funds privately for the memorial.
The centerpiece of the memorial will be made up of etched black granite and will sit on top of a hill covered by boulders, representing the Battle of Old Baldy.
Other granite markers and signs are planned to be included in the memorial honoring Clermont County veterans who died in the war.
Knepp said the entire memorial will cost around $100,000, and he is hoping they will have the memorial completed this year.
For more information about the Korean War Memorial visit www.spiritof76memorial.org or call William Knepp at (513) 831-2932.