Sometimes as a journalist you need to know when to be quiet, let someone speak, and just listen.
Such was the case Thursday.
David Paxton came in to talk about the new memorial monument to be placed in Harrod. He also has his hands full with an Allen County War Memorial.
I asked him what motivates him to take on such projects. His words:
“Seven hundred and fifteen people from Allen County who gave their lives for our country. People like Doug Dahill, of Lima. Nathan Carse, of Harrod. Jack Morton, a World War II vet from Lafayette. John Michael Schoolcraft. I can list a lot of them.
“My father landed on Utah Beach on D-Day Plus 1. My brother went to Vietnam on a riverboat. I followed him into the Navy when I left school in 1966. I requested duty aboard a ship with my brother. We served together.
“Our father raised us to love this country and to appreciate what people did, the sacrifices they made. I look around Allen County and the wonderful memorials like Spencerville and Harrod, but there’s no county memorial representing everyone. That’s what is in the works … something to honor those who died in every war.
“Stephen Bowersock died in Vietnam. His mother said, ‘I thought everybody forget him; nobody cared.’ And that’s the fuel now. Whatever got me started, the fuel now is the expression of gratitude on the faces of the families. There’s no closure. These people have holes in their hearts. The pain doesn’t go away
“I read about the Revolutionary War and what our country went through. I’m not sure how our country has progressed since then, if we could win that war today, or even if they would let us fight it. That’s the trouble.
“We cannot forget who we are, those who died, or what we stand for.
“Never forget. Never forget!”
ROSES AND THORNS: The rose garden makes room for a man to park his truck.
Rose: To Andy Wohlgamuth, of Lima. Standing in the crowd outside of the “Today” show, he held up a sign that said, “My wife said I’d get a new truck if I get on ‘Today.’” It worked as he was interviewed and photographed. No word on whether he got his truck.
Rose: Happy that American Township firefighters have a new firehouse, a little girl showed up Friday with a housewarming gift — two boxes of Cinnabon rolls.
Rose: To Lonnie Rettig, of Lima. He organized the Hometown Heroes boxing card on Saturday. It marked the first pro boxing event in Lima in 15 years.
Rose: To Marina Fuduric, who, at age 11, won the Lima Area Tennis Association women’s singles championship.
Rose: To Cora Bicknell, a junior at Lima Senior High School. She spent several weeks painting a series of murals that now hang in front of the Mizpah Community Center.
Rose:To Susan Manchester, 30, of Waynesfield. After working as a legislative aid in Washington for U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, she’s returning to region, where she plans to run for the 84th District House seat being vacated by state Rep. Keith Faber. Manchester lists preserving agriculture as her No. 1 goal.
Thorn: Delphos police and firefighters and officers from around the area searched 3½ hours Tuesday for children who supposedly were swept away by the swollen, swiftly moving waters of Flat Fork Creek. They later learned that the children who reported the incident had made up everything.
Thorn: At 5:15 p.m Wednesday, Lima Police Department officers investigated a shooting and discovered a bullet in the door of a car parked in the 900 block of West Wayne Street. The fact it was daylight didn’t deter the shooters.
PARTING SHOT: A closed mouth gathers no foot.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.