ALLEN COUNTY — Plans are coming together for an Allen County War Memorial.
The Allen County Veterans Memorial Foundation has been working on the concept for the past five years and on Saturday, organizers unveiled the design of the memorial, which would be located on a two-acre site at the corner of state Route 117 and Bowman Road.
“It was offered to us by the Memorial Park Cemetery. They own the ground,” said David Paxton Sr., president of the Allen County Veterans Memorial Foundation.
A little over a year ago, the group hired LSG Architecture of Tysons, Virginia, to design the memorial.
“We hope to utilize the space primarily to memorialize the individual veterans and tell as much about each one as we can and so it’s not the typical memorial site where you put a name on a wall. We want to do much more than that,” said Paxton.
When it’s finished, all 770 Allen County veterans will have a place at the memorial site.
“Each veteran who died in service to our country would have his own 12-inch wide by 18-inch plaque of some sort and if we have a picture it would include that, engraved or etched, and then telling about that veteran in as much space as we have available and with as much information as we have available,” said Paxton.
The group has done its homework in finding information on the veterans.
“We have a fair amount of information on a lot of them. Some of them we only have a date they died and there’s a few left yet that we don’t have dates they died. … When we started, we only had dates of death of about 33 or 34 of the World War II veterans and we had about 234 on the list.
“Thanks to a website called Newspaper Archive giving us six months free access we found out there was one hundred more from Allen County alone, and we got a lot of information about them plus we got the dates of death for almost the rest of them on our list. Research takes up the majority of our time,” said Paxton.
To donate, visit allencountyveterans.org or send to P.O. Box 5134 Lima, OH 45802.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.