Vet memorial planned for Leavittsburg

On site of former high school

Special to the Tribune Chronicle A rendering of a proposed veterans memorial and wall being considered by Warren Township trustees at the site of the former LaBrae High School off West Market Street.

WARREN TOWNSHIP — Warren Township trustees and local veteran organizations want to create a veterans memorial near the site of the former LaBrae High School on West Market Street.

Desert Storm/ Desert Shield veteran Mike Chambers of Eagle Creek Road showed sketches and plans created by Baker, Bednar, Snyder and Associates Architects to township trustees this week on what he and other residents would like to have constructed.

The location near the Downtown Leavittsburg Heritage Association Museum has three war memorials for World War I and World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans.

Chambers said the names of local residents who died in combat in those wars are listed on them.

Chambers, who served eight years of active duty and another five in the National Guard, initiated the idea himself and then spoke to Chuck Jaros of American Legion Post 699, which has maintained the property where the current markers are for the past 20 years.

The site, which has been at the location since the early 1950s, has the three markers a flag pole, a walkway, foliage, benches, a tree and a time capsule under one of the markers containing items from family members whose loved ones died in combat.

“The plan is to keep the original war memorials in place on site, but to expand it out into the nearby parking lot, which the township owns,” Chambers said.

He said being proposed is keeping the three memorial stones in place, removing the tree, adding more flags poles for more flags such as POW, an American flag, and the Ohio state flag, and a three-foot high wall erected around the site that can be added to in the future. A podium could be placed there for programs, with an electrical outlet for lighting.

Chambers said he has received calls from people and businesses who want to make monetary, labor and equipment donations for the project.

“The key is to expand on what is already there. We will not take away from what is already here,” he said.

Chambers, who has four uncles and cousins who were veterans, said names being discussed for the site include The Warren Township War Memorial Veterans Wall. Plans are to have it completed in 2020.

He said this year is more about fundraising and donations and connecting with local veterans organizations about the project.

“I have a lot of backers already. We will do some poker runs and benefits,” Chambers said.

He said a fund will be set up under the American Legion 501(c) for donations made to the memorial. Trustee Ed Anthony said the idea is a great one that trustee feel will benefit the community.

“The markers honor our local veterans for their service to their country. What Mike is planning will enhance what is there,” he said.

Anthony said trustees have not yet given their official approval for the project and will wait for Chambers to bring exact measurements of how much of the parking lot and grounds he will need for the memorial.

Trustees are reviewing the project plans. Chambers said project costs are being reviewed with all to be covered by donations and grants.

“I wanted to give back to the community that I was raised in and also honor all the veterans,” he said.