Rededication ceremony held for Fairland Middle memorial
ROME TOWNSHIP — A rededication ceremony was Monday morning for a set of memorial benches at Fairland Middle School, as people remembered the man who made them possible.
Members of VFW Post 6878 were on hand for the event, as well as an assembled crowd of community members and the school’s students and faculty.
The benches were originally installed and dedicated by former Fairland Middle School teacher Danny Casey in 1985 to honor students who had died while attending Fairland schools. They are part of a larger memorial at the school’s flagpole, sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which honors missing in action service members and prisoners of war from Vietnam.
Fairland Superintendent Roni Hayes said the benches were removed during a remodel of the school in 2003 and ended up in storage at the board of education. They were reinstalled earlier this year in anticipation of the rededication in Casey’s honor during Veterans Day week.
Casey, who volunteered for service in Vietnam, retired in 2008 after teaching at both Fairland Middle and Fairland High Schools. He died in 2013. His widow, Diane Casey, was one of the speakers at the ceremony, which, in addition to dedicating the memorial, honored Casey’s life, military service and dedication to the community.
“It’s timely, and he’s still being remembered today for what he did,” Casey said of her husband.
John Weber of the VFW’s honor guard served as the master of ceremonies, speaking of Casey’s life. A 21-gun salute and playing of “Taps” followed the speakers.