By Kristin Rover
Dozens of veterans as well as Gold Star families attended a ceremony to dedicate the Fallen Heroes of Clermont County Memorial at East Fork State Park Nov. 10.
The memorial includes the names of military men who have died in wars or conflicts since Desert Storm, according to Clermont County Veterans Services Commissioner Bob Derr.
The names on the memorial include James Lumpkins, Todd Ross, Matt Maupin, Charles Kiser, Nicholas Erdy, Tyler Swisher, Bryan Taylor, William Spencer, Phillip McNeill, Mark Wojciechowski, Gregory Missman, David Mitchell, Jacob Dohrenwend, and Joseph Bauer.
Derr, a member of the memorial committee and a commissioner with the Clermont County Veterans’ Service Commission, talked about how the memorial came to be.
Derr said he visited memorials in Washington D.C. and noticed that Clermont County didn’t have a memorial for the men and women who have died in recent conflicts or wars.
Derr began working on plans for a memorial that would include the names of the individuals who have died in recent conflicts, and that would help people remember their sacrifice.
“It’s a good way for Gold Star families to have a place to remember their loved ones,” Derr said.
Derr introduced individuals involved with the memorial including Bill Miller, a committee member and veteran, Tim Rolf, the monument creator, and more.
Rolf, who created the monument for the memorial, said he is glad to be able to create monuments like this in the community.
“Building a memorial like this doesn’t let us forget,” Roff said. “Americans must never forget the sacrifice.”
Derr also thanked the many individuals who donated money to the memorial, including students and families at West Clermont Local School District who donated more than $2,000 to the memorial.
“I thank you very much for all of the support you give veterans,” Derr said. “I can say everything is paid for and that is wonderful.”
Several other individuals spoke during the ceremony including Teresa Lewis representing Congressman Brad Wenstrup, Senator Joseph Uecker, Representative Doug Green and Clermont County Commissioner Bob Proud, Cliff Riley with The Clermont County Veterans’ Service Commission.
Misty Bauer, whose husband Joseph Bauer was killed during Operation Enduring Freedom, said the memorial means a lot to her.
“A lot of these men have children,” Bauer said. “They have someone to carry on their legacy. My husband doesn’t. People can see his name and keep his memory alive.”