The Delaware County Commissioners, along with many distinguished visitors, today rededicated the newly renovated Veterans Memorial in front of The Historic Courthouse in downtown Delaware.
“We are especially proud to have finally created a memorial plaza that is worthy of our veterans and the sacrifices they have made in service to this great country,” said Commissioner Jeff Benton in his opening remarks. “This new plaza gives these monuments a home as special as the people they honor.”
A crowd of more than 150 U.S. military veterans, local officials and residents were spaced across the front lawn at 91 N. Sandusky St. and in the street, which had been closed to traffic for the event. The renovation of the outdoor space is part of a $9.5 million renovation project for the entire Historic Courthouse, which dates from 1869. The Commissioners, their staff and the Delaware County Veterans Service Commission will move into the building later this year.
The memorial plaza not only reorganizes a collection of monuments that had been placed on the front lawn over the last 150 years, but provides flagpoles for flags of the United States, State of Ohio, Delaware County and all branches of the military.
Today’s ceremony recognized Frank Hickman, a U.S. Army veteran, as the 2020 Delaware County Outstanding Veteran for his community service. Commissioner Barb Lewis also presented the Outstanding Friend of Veterans Award to the Serendipitee Quilters organization, which has provided quilts and other handcrafted favors for veterans’ events.
Commissioner Gary Merrell was joined by Delaware County Gold Star father Jerry Myers, Delaware County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and U.S. Army veteran Joe Varvel, U.S. Air Force veteran David Hyatt and Delaware County Junior ROTC student Patrick Beck in laying memorial wreaths around the Civil War monument that anchors the rededicated Veterans Memorial. State Auditor Keith Faber also was among speakers to address the gathering and U.S. Congressman Troy Balderson was in attendance.