Many people this time of year are giving to help support different charities, not only to help the charities, but for the tax deduction too. A volunteer group of citizens, veterans, businesses and city officials have worked very hard since April 2016 to set up and establish a funding for a project that has been long overdue.
Fairborn has been blessed with a tribute to the military with the beautiful traffic circle of flags in the center of town. What has been discussed is the extension of that by building a Military Veterans Memorial to recognize those who have over many years and many wars have given their lives for their country and our freedom.
The veterans served date back to before 1914, which is why and how the site was chosen for the memorial. Many of the veterans who served from Fairborn went to Bath Township School, which in 1924 was the second one and 1931 was the addition of the third school. Many today will know this school as Central School or Fairborn Senior Housing, which is a wonderful piece of history and landmark. What better place to set up a Veteran Military Memorial than on a site of which many of our veterans attended school and received their education from.
This is not a rush job as these veterans have been gone since 1900’s and now 100 years later we are remembering and showing thanks for sacrifice and service for our freedom. This is a heartfelt project of love to remember the veterans and show their ancestors and families that we do care and appreciate our service people and what they do. We are neighbors of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and have many veterans living on and off base and the question has often been brought up of, “where is your city’s military veterans memorial?” Many cities have them all across the USA and Kettering recently broke ground for their memorial, so we are proud to be able to tell everyone that we are working on one for the City of Fairborn.
We want it to be special as we feel our town is special and so we are asking for financial support from businesses, groups, organizations and citizens to all be a part of this lifetime memorial. You can go to our website: www.fairbornvetsmemorial.com/ or check out our facebook: www.facebook.com/fairbornmemorial for details and updates.
We have asked for veterans to submit their military pictures as we are going to make our veterans wall personal without names but with photos of pictures and wartime scenes in the front. On one side of the wall, we want to recognize the animals such as: mules, horses, canines, carrier pigeons, dolphins all of which played a great part in wars past and present that many may not know about.
The front of the wall in the ground with names of veterans on bricks will be those who are from our town that served and died in service. Then farther out military veterans and families of veterans can buy bricks to have their names and be recognized. The other end side of the wall we wish to recognize the large supportive donors with their names as a thank you and show of appreciation.
We then are doing something, of which instead of a museum like some towns build next to their memorial, we are going to use the backside of the wall to etch the history and landmarks of Fairborn from it’s early years in time.
We have set up a fund through the Greene County Community Foundation of which checks can be made out to but you must put into the check memo: Fairborn Military Veterans. You can also call in using your credit card should you choose to do so as many of you may want those miles and points. Should you want to mail in a check, send it to the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, 12 North Central Ave., Fairborn, Ohio 45324 as it is helping us by accepting checks for those who either want to drop off checks of mail into the project locally. We are set up as a 501(c)3 tax deduction and all of the group of workers are volunteers.
We have put together collection jars that are being placed in area businesses for collection of donations as no donation is too small, we want each and everyone to feel like they have helped to build the memorial.
This is a Fairborn Military Veterans Memorial Project of which we are pleased with so many that are standing up and supporting this wonderful project, that we are wanting to complete it by November 2017 Veterans Day.
May you all have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.
JoAnn Collins is a guest columnist for the Fairborn Daily Herald.