Fairfield Twp. veterans memorial: Group fundraising for new area of Heroes Park

FAIRFIELD TWP. ― A fundraising campaign was launched this month to construct a new veterans memorial at the township’s Heroes Park.

Fred Valerius, chairman of the Fairfield Twp. Veterans Memorial Committee, said the goal is to raise at least $275,000. The overall goal is $325,000, of which the township trustees have committed $50,000 to start off the campaign. By law, the township cannot contribute more.

“The trustees feel that our participation in this effort is essentially a sacred duty — to help honor all those men and women who risked, or sacrificed, their lives to provide us with the opportunities and freedoms we enjoy in this great community," said Fairfield Twp. Trustee President Shannon Hartkemeyer.

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The memorial has been in the works for several years, she said, and now the committee and the trustees are calling on the community for their assistance. The group, most of whom are veterans of the Vietnam War era, have been involved in the research and memorial’s design, Valerius said.

The memorial at the park at Millikin and Morris roads has been influenced by the veterans' memorials that have been established around the region, he said.

“We identified the best design features of the memorials we visited,” Valerius said.

Included in the memorial’s design is a central monument and a U.S. flag dedicated to residents of Fairfield Twp. who received the Purple Heart, either wounded or killed in action. Valerius said they hope the installation of the flagpole and a groundbreaking ceremony can happen before Oct. 1.

Each of the five military service branches will be recognized by images on a laser-etched granite monument, and the branch’s flag will fly above it.

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The backsides of the monuments will recognize POW/MIAs, Gold Star families, other veterans from Fairfield Twp. and financial donors. Granite benches tracing the history of wars and conflicts will line the memorial’s perimeter.

Donations can be made to the Fairfield Township Veterans Memorial Fund at the Fairfield Community Foundation. The foundation can be reached at 513-829-6355.

For additional information, email Valeriusat fvalerius@aol.com.

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