On Aug. 22, 2015, Johnston, Ohio, Post 254 had a huge day. We dedicated our new memorial, celebrated Purple Heart recipients and ended with a dignified flag-disposal ceremony. They were all great, however I want to tell you about the monument. Post members have long wanted to give to both the veterans and the community. The early vision was a "Walk of Honor" with pavers like we are all used to seeing, but this was short-lived. Our new facility had plenty of property to build a stand-alone monument. Designs were approved by the membership and individual bricks went for sale. The Wall of Honor has so many stories within stories. For example, the selected contractor was local as were all the tradesmen, and had just finished tearing down a old house and kept all the old sandstone foundation blocks. We imagined that once these stones were cut that they would look good. We were mistaken, for they looked fabulous. The entire 42-foot-wide, 9-foot-tall project is gleaming with these stones. We also reclaimed village flagstone which at one time was the sidewalks downtown. We used this flagstone for the six ledgers in front of each wall.
The monument, when full, will hold 1,196 bricks. It hàs two 40" eagles standing watch on the end columns. There are three flagpoles, one 35' and two 30'. All the tradesmen lived within eight miles and worked with a passion. They had it finished the day prior to the dedication and they all were recognized for their skills and motivation. The 22nd of August was here and people came from near and far. Veterans, families of veterans, politicians and reporters. The mayor accepted my challenge to always protect, respect and love the "Wall of Honor."