ANTWERP, Ohio (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Honoring all veterans - past, present, and future. That was the mission in Antwerp, Ohio Sunday as the community dedicated it's "All Veterans Memorial." More than 300 people braved the heat at Veterans Memorial Park to honor veterans both living and passed.
Antwerp has almost 200 years of military service represented on the memorial, including three individuals who served during the war of 1812. So far 1486 names are etched into granite tablets surrounding a restored civil war monument. The memorial however, was designed to allow for more names to be added in the future.
Any veteran living or passed can be included, regardless of when or where they served. They need only to have lived in the Antwerp Local School District or had an Antwerp address at some point during their lives. He or she must have also had an honorable or medical discharge.
The Veterans Equally Recognized for Time Served Committee, or V.E.T.S., have spent the past two and a half years raising more than $100,000 for the memorial.
Nancy Lichty, the Treasurer for V.E.T.S. said, "We had businesses who helped out. We had change canisters. People threw in what they could. We did cookbooks. We did all kinds of fundraisers, dinners, dances. We pretty much did it all."
The Chairwoman of V.E.T.S, Karen Sanders, says she knows why. "I think it stems from a very patriotic community. They support our veterans 110%."
Sanders said she first brought up the idea of an all-inclusive veterans memorial after her cousin showed her a similar memorial with his name and his wife's name etched onto it. She thought about how fitting it is to honor veterans while they are still here to see how much their service means to others.
Those interested in having their names or someone else's name added to the monument should contact any V.E.T.S. Board of directors member. They can also receive additional assistance with military records from the Paulding County Recorders Office or Paulding County Veterans Services Office.
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