ARCANUM – Residents paid respect to area veterans during a military banner dedication at the Veterans Memorial Park outside the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society on Monday.
The ceremony began with Boy Scout Troop 186 conducting a presentation of colors followed by a benediction that encouraged area veterans to step forward to share where and when they served.
About two dozen veterans were present, stationed in various countries, on ships and submarines, from Navy, Army, and National Guard, in World War II to the Persian Gulf. Each was given a pin thanking them for their service.
“We’re proud to say these men and women are from our small community,” said Village of Arcanum Administrator Bill Kessler, emphasizing they hang the military banners so as not to forget the sacrifices these individuals made; that each banner represents a story.
“Some stories we know, some we do not,” continued Kessler. “The story [they] tell may be healing.”
Several veterans or family of veterans came forward to share a short story on their time serving before Kessler thanked those who made the dedication ceremony possible. Those individuals and businesses include but are not limited to the village utility department, Sutton’s SuperValu, Arcanum City Council, Nealeigh Design Group in Greenville, and the committee behind the banners including Sue Besecker and Shirley and Ron Baker.
The day’s event was about two years in the making said Besecker who spoke on the work behind-the-scenes and how she was inspired by West Milton’s community-wide military banners.
“They were one of the first communities to have the banners displayed,” explained Besecker who attended the West Milton’s dedication ceremony. “That’s where I got the idea.”
“She had a vision and took it forward,” said Shirley Baker as Besecker explained she had a family member serve during World War II. He was a POW.
The military banners are currently on display on Main Street; veterans may continue to be added, with the village working towards a list of where each veteran banner is placed.
Each banner includes a photo, name, rank, branch of service and date of service.
Bethany J. Royer-DeLong
Residents paid respect to area veterans during a military banner dedication at the Veterans Memorial Park outside the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society on Monday. The military banner project was about two years in the making and are currently on display on Main Street.