Veterans Day in Delaware carried a particularly special meaning this year with the rededication of the Delaware County Veterans Memorial located outside the newly-renovated Delaware County Historic Courthouse at 91 N. Sandusky St.
On Wednesday, the community gathered outside the courthouse to celebrate veterans with a ceremony that included the national anthem, flag raising, wreath-laying, a rifle volley, and speeches by various county and state officials. Sandusky Street was closed in front of the courthouse, and chairs were spread throughout the street to allow for veterans in attendance to safely spread out for the ceremony.
“Today has been a long time coming,” Delaware County Commissioner Jeff Benton said at the opening of the ceremony. “Seventeen months ago, we began work on the renovation of this historic building and the space right here that had become an unofficial home to so many county monuments.
“I know we are all very proud of this entire project. We are especially proud that we have finally created a memorial plaza that is worthy of our veterans and the sacrifices they have made in service to our great country…”
Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber said, “Around the world, millions of our best and brightest have fought to defend the fundamental truth that we are all made in the image of God, and we are all deserving of the basic rights of life, liberty and property. These are the heroes that won’t have tennis shoes named after them. These are the heroes that won’t have their faces on a box of Wheaties. But these are the heroes that owe them a debt of gratitude more than we can ever repay.
“To all of those who have served: thank you. To all of those who currently serve: thank you. That includes all the men and women who keep us safe as first responders every day as well. You remain in our thoughts and in our prayers. While we hope we may never need the men and women who stand for the flag to keep us safe from enemies foreign and domestic, we sleep better knowing that you’re there. God bless you. God bless this great state. And God bless America.”
“The memorials behind us remind us of the human sacrifice our country has asked of our service members in time of need,” Brian Galligher, the executive director of the Delaware County Veterans Services Office and a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve, added during the ceremony.
Local veterans of each branch were on hand to raise the flag of their branch, which will fly alongside the Stars and Stripes above the plaza. A POW/MIA was also raised over the plaza to honor those who never made it home.
After the ceremony, the community was able to walk through the new memorial, getting its first look at the monuments commemorating county heroes who fought overseas in wars dating back to World War I, as well as the flags of each military branch.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.