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Saturday dedication set for VFW memorial

ROME TOWNSHIP — It took almost a year to complete, but a dream to honor those who died in the service of their country has become a reality, thanks to the work of the Proctorville VFW Post 6878 and the community that supports the post.

Now on Saturday will be a formal dedication of the Memorial Plaza, down the hill from the post home.

The program begins at 2 p.m. with a cookout at the shelter house to follow. The VFW Post will be doing the honor guard and other area posts are invited to attend the ceremony, along with the community.

“This will be the dedication of the memorial for all fallen soldiers from all wars,” according to Post Commander Warren Napier. “This is the only one around.”

At one end of the memorial stand the flags of the United States, Ohio and MIAs while down the walkway are 20 more flags — 15 American and five for five branches of the service. There are also two other brick walls on whose sides are the insignias of all the armed services.

At the other end is a large planter and written on one of the stone medallions on the wall is the inscription, “All Gave Some, Some Gave All.”

The guiding force for the memorial was Dean Cooper, senior vice commander of the post and Korean War veteran, who wanted to make sure the contribution of those fallen soldiers is remembered for eternity.

“I spent 15 months underground in Korea. I know what it is like over there,” Cooper said. “You don’t know what war is like until you’ve been there. They give up their lives for us.”

The design for the memorial was created by Gary Tillis, art teacher at Ohio University Southern-Proctorville Center.

“It is a formal-type memorial in a setting that is very respectful,” Tillis said.

The memorial cost $16,000 and was funded through donations.

“I’m very proud of this,” Napier said. “The guys worked on it very hard.”