Eagle Scouts work on memorial to military

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, September 1, 2009

SOUTH POINT — Come late fall, there will be a new addition to the park by the South Point boat ramp — and a new tribute in the village to the members of the nation’s armed services.

The addition is a memorial complemented by two flag poles and flags that is a project of two Eagle Scouts of Troop 115 of South Point: T.J. Beavers and Tyler Payne.

The teens joined fellow Scouts and members of the South Point Village Council Monday evening for a groundbreaking ceremony at the park.

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Beavers, a South Point High student, has worked since May organizing and fund-raising for a monument to be placed in the park, honoring the five branches of the military.

He had seen a comparable one in Charlotte, N.C., and wanted to bring the concept up here. It will be a 10-foot black granite obelisk with the American flag and a bald eagle laser-etched at the top with the five symbols of the armed services beneath. At the base will be an inscription dedicating the monument to the men and women of South Point who have served their country.

“Everything we look at here is because of them,” Beavers said. “You and I talking about this monument is because of them.”

Beavers has solicited contributions from area businesses and veterans’ organization to pay for the project.

Payne, also a South Point High student, said he wanted to add onto his fellow Scout’s project and came up with the idea of the flags — the American and the Ohio — flying on poles on either side of the obelisk.

“I wanted to give the village something they could have, something they could wake up to each morning,” Payne said.

The pair plan an hour-long dedication of the monument for Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. Scout officials and Mayor Bill Gaskin will speak. An invitation has been extended to Gov. Ted Strickland. The South Point High School band will also perform.

In the future Beavers is working to erect a granite bench to be inscribed thanking all the donors to the project and to create a memorial brick walkway around the site.

“This is a very ambitious project,” David Hughes, scoutmaster, said. “This connects them with the past and the people who have given them the freedom to do this.”