Wall of Honor will be dedicated on Monday

SMITHFIELD – More than 450 bricks later, with the help of volunteer professionals and military veterans, the Jefferson County Veterans Association Inc. will dedicate the Wall of Honor that has been in the planning and labor stages for about two years.

The service to pay tribute to the veterans of many wars or those who served in the military in peace time, will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at Fort Friendship Museum in Friendship Park. Frank Santa will serve as master of ceremonies.

Charles Greene, coordinator of the wall project, said there is room for 149 more bricks, but 81 of those brick tributes have been ordered, with only 67 more orders to be taken.

There is a brick in memory of a soldier from the War of 1812 that will be installed; from the Civil War; World War I; World War II; those killed in action in Vietnam, who were friends of local members of the military; POWs; and a MIA from World War II – Jim Svoboda of Bradley, who served in peace time but went out on a naval training mission and never came back, it was noted.

“Anyone who has served in the military, at any time, can be added to the wall,” said William Smythe, veterans association commander, said.

The program will begin with the regular Veterans Day service, and Jack Ernest will be the guest speaker.

Ernest, a sergeant with the Marines serving in Vietnam, was injured in hand-to-hand combat but went back to break bread with those he fought against on 44 occasions. He is an inductee in the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

Those attending are asked to bring lawn chairs. A complimentary lunch will follow the program at the county fair board dining hall.