Because Whiteoak Township is the only township in the Bright Local School District without a veterans monument, Chuck Emery says the Ray W. Wilson American Legion Post 694 in Mowrystown is trying to raise funds for a memorial that would be placed on the lawn in front of Whiteoak High School.
The hope, Emery said, is to have it in place by Veterans Day this year.
“It will be for all veterans, past, present and future service people, and it will be specifically for Whiteoak Township,” said Emery, commander of the 47-member post that was established in 1947.
The monument will cost somewhere around $4,000 and Emery said that since a fundraising drive for the memorial started about a week and a half ago, $650 has been raised.
Tax deductible donations should be made to: Mowrystown American Legion, P.O. Box 301, Mowrystown, Ohio 45155. The memo line should say something about the monument.
Emery said the design and size of the memorial are still under consideration.
About two years ago, Emery said, a Korean War veteran mentioned that a memorial at the old Sugartree Ridge school site in Concord Township should be moved to the current Bright Elementary School site. He said the American Legion members contacted the township trustees and school board, and about 16 months later the memorial was moved.
Emery said there is also a veterans memorial in front of the old school in Belfast in Jackson Township.
According to Emery, the Bright Local Board of Education unanimously approved having a monument placed at the high school during a board meeting two weeks ago.
The monument will have no advertising will on it, donors will be acknowledged unless they ask to remain anonymous, and no donation amounts will be published, Emery said.
“It would give us a monument in each township in the school district,” Emery said. “A lot of members of the post are Whiteoak High School graduates and a lot of them still live in the school district. We’re all veterans and we realize it’s a need and we want all veterans to be recognized – not just war veterans – but all veterans, and it will be specific to Whiteoak Township. We want to give people in the township an opportunity to contribute and be part of the project.”
For more information, visit the Mowrystown American Legion Facebook page.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]