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Stratton to dedicate war memorial

November 2, 2012
By MARK J. MILLER - Staff writer , The Herald-Star

STRATTON - A war memorial dedicated to all servicemen and women who have served through all wars will be the focus of a ceremony set for 2 p.m. on Nov. 11 - Veterans Day - in front of the Stratton Municipal Building, 136 Second Ave.

The newly reconstructed Veteran's Memorial Park will include the names of local veterans from Stratton, Empire, Goose Run, Port Homer and Sugar Grove engraved in stones, according to village Mayor John Abdalla.

"The park is in front of the (municipal) building," said Abdalla, adding a an older engraved stone with the names of local veterans from World War I and World War II previously was located between the village building and another structure. "(The old stone) has quite a few names of (local veterans) in the service during World War I and World War II - men and women alike."

Abdalla said he and others in the village came up with the idea of developing a park dedicated to veterans in front of the village building. He also said a committee of citizens and village officials worked for more than two years on the redesign of the memorial and in gathering the names of veterans who served in peace or war, since World War II.

"We came up with 350 names," said Abdalla, adding the additional veterans' names the committee gathered are inscribed on six granite monuments.

The engraved stones - including the original stone - will be placed in a circle around a flagpole flying the American, Ohio and POW/MIA flags, said Abdalla. Each branch of the service also is represented, he added.

"(Each branch's insignia) will be embedded in the (concrete) centerpiece," Abdalla continued. "I want the focus to be on local (veterans)."

Abdalla said his brother, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla, will act as master of ceremonies, while the Rev. Mike Bongart, pastor of the Toronto First Presbyterian Church, will be the featured speaker. Both Bongart and Fred Abdalla are Vietnam War veterans and both were awarded the Bronze Star as well as other medals and commendations for their service, said John Abdalla.

The public is invited to attend, and light refreshments will be served in the municipal building hall after the ceremony.

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