BEAVERDAM — World War II Veteran Dale Huber sat next to his friend and fellow veteran of the same war, Fred Andrews, as both men were honored during the dedication of the Beaverdam Veterans Memorial on Saturday.
“It’s very important that we remember the veterans that have saved our country over the years,” said Huber, a U.S. Army Veteran who served in Europe during World War II.
Huber was honored to see the memorial and all the hundreds of people who attended its dedication.
Beaverdam Mayor Robert Beemer asked all veterans to stand and raise their hands for those gathered to recognize them.
“We are here to honor our service members and the sacrifices they made to defend honor, duty and country,” Beemer said.
Beemer said the memorial was built to honor those who died on the battlefield, the missing in action, prisoners of war, those wounded and all who contributed to maintain the freedom of the country.
“It’s meant to honor the courage and sacrifices of all the brave heroes in our military,” Beemer said.
The memorial was two years in the planning in front of the new town hall on West Main Street. It’s a black granite memorial in the middle of a brick pathway. On the front of the memorial is a pair of combat boots, an erect service rifle with a helmet on top, a tribute known as a fallen soldier’s battlefield cross.
There have been more than 410 veterans from the Beaverdam area who served since the War of 1812. Veterans from World War II to the current wars were honored.
Speaker Robert Klostermeier, a Vietnam veteran elected the commander of the Department of Ohio American Legion, mentioned each group and thanked each group.
“To the World War II veterans, the world’s greatest generation. Great job,” Klostermeier said.
Klostermeier spoke of the numerous sacrifices veterans made including giving their lives for freedom. He described various veterans who contributed to freedom.
“He is an ordinary yet an extraordinary human being, a person who offered some of his life in his most vital years in the service of his country,” Klostermeier said.
Klostermeier told those attending each time they saw a veteran to lean over and say, “thank you.”
“That is all most people need and it will mean more than any medal that could have been awarded or were awarded. It’s two little words that mean a lot,” he said.
Huber, who had the honor of laying a wreath at the base of the memorial, said a simple ‘thank you,’ means a lot, not only to himself, but to all veterans. It shows people appreciate veterans.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.