This Memorial Day, as families gather for a long weekend, the Southern Ohio War Memorial Foundation (SOWMF) is excited to announce the War Memorial Project has made great strides in the effort of remembering all those who lost their lives fighting in wartime including fallen World War II to Afganistan War veterans from all branches of the military from Adams, Fayette, Highland, Lawrence, Jackson, Pike, Ross and Scioto counties. The wall will feature personalized bricks for honor these men and women as their names grace the memorial grounds.
“The Southern Ohio War Memorial Foundation, Inc. project continues to make small steps of progress into 2017 towards the building of this important monument,” Kathi Zornes, project secretary/treasurer stated. “Last summer, the memorial site was completely cleaned of trees, stumps and debris to the total of 44 huge truck loads removed by Lloyd Excavating in Winchester.”
The memorial will be constructed two miles north of Lucasville on the northbound side of U.S. 23. In addition to preparing the site, Zornes, who has been working on the project since 2012, explained that filing the proper paperwork has been a daunting task. All necessary detailed paperwork and contracts have been sent and received by the National Museum of the United States Air Force to be put on the waiting list for static display air planes, one of many esthetic elements the project will include.
“In the fall, the project was approved for our Permit from the State of Ohio to begin actual land alterations,” Zornes stated. “A bid for site boring estimate was received, but the figures were inconsistent with what our architect had told us to expect, so more work is being done to get a proper bid to get that portion of testing completed. The Scioto Foundation awarded the SOWMF project a $3,000 grant to help cover the costs for proper site boring estimate necessary for the progress on the project.”
In the meantime, Roy Bennett and his students from the Scioto County Joint Vocational School met with SOWMF Representatives in April and set the electric pole so that AEP can come in and install the electric service. Dan Craft with AEP has provided a contract for the installation, which will be signed and returned with a check to cover those expenses before the start of summer.
Once the electric service is installed, the SOMWF will be speaking to landscaping companies to have them come in and beautify the property. Flag poles will then be installed on the property for a patriotic display while the project works diligently to raise the funding needed to complete the project. The Project hopes to be able to complete these things in time for the Scioto County Fair.
“This project is easily a whopping $600,000 project start to finish, “Zornes reported, “We depend upon the continued financial support of our communities to see this project to fruition; the amount of time it takes to see it completed is directly proportional to the level of generosity shown by the counties represented by the project, and those who love our veterans and KIA comrades, who are forever honored and remembered by this memorial project. The SOWMF project is an official 501(c)3, so all donations made are tax deductible. The Southern Ohio War Memorial Foundation Committee expresses their sincerest gratitude for the dependable support of the churches, businesses and individuals of Scioto County who have already generously supported this important project and helped make the progress we’ve made possible.”
Donations to the SOWMF project can be made out and sent to: Southern Ohio War Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 874, Lucasville, Ohio 45648. To check the continued progress of the project, visit www.sowmf.org or check out the group’s Facebook page.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.