Gold Star Family Ceremony set for Sept. 7


The Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial will hold the 14th annual Gold Star Family Ceremony outdoors from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, in Sunbury. It is open to the public.

During this week’s Sunbury Village Council meeting, Mayor Tommy Hatfield said of the event, “If you haven’t witnessed that before, I highly recommend you come over. Congressman Troy Balderson and Attorney General David Yost will speak. It’s really moving.”

The ceremony is held on the Saturday closest to Sept. 11. The memorial is a tribute to those Ohio men and women in uniform who were killed or missing in action in the Global War on Terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001.

“Our goal is to never let people forget the sacrifices made for our freedom and to take care of the families of our fallen heroes now and in the future,” the memorial’s website ( states. “Thanks to the efforts of countless volunteers, the Village of Sunbury and many financial contributors, the memorial became a reality.”

OFHM was founded in 2005 by several local veterans and was dedicated on June 30, 2007. It was designed by George Parker and Associates. The memorial is run by a nonprofit corporation and is supported by donations. Ohio House Resolution 30 designated it as the state’s only memorial honoring military personnel killed in the War on Terrorism. It is registered with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

The Department of Defense distributes a Gold Star pin to members of the immediate family for the sacrifice of their loved one. The OFHM contacts the family for a reception that is closed to the public and is held prior to the public ceremony.

Memorial President Neal Kruse said the memorial now honors 291 people.

The Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial is located at 79 1/2 W. Cherry St. in Sunbury.

In an unrelated event, there will be a Veterans Pancake Breakfast from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the American Legion Post 457, 230 Otis St. in Sunbury (behind the water tower). Veterans eat free, and others can for a $5 donation.

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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