News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Greater Akron Chamber

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Memorial Day at Veterans' Memorial Park
Clinton, Ohio monument remembers fallen Ohioans

Kabir Bhatia
John Carroll and Mandi Modrick (along with Dagger) are among the regulars at Veteran's Memorial Park in Clinton, honoring fallen heroes
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The centerpiece of Ohio Veterans’ Memorial Park in Clinton is a black granite wall inscribed with the names of the Ohioans killed in the Vietnam War. The slide of the U.S. into that war began with CIA advisors as early as 1955. But the U.S. involvement accelerated, and became formal in 1962. And WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports that tonight, 50 years later, the park is hosting a candlelight vigil in honor of Memorial Day.
Memorial Day at Veterans' Memorial Park

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:19)

(Click image for larger view.)

The 7-foot tall, 125-foot long wall is an imposing centerpiece in a serene two-acre field. A Gold Star Mother statue watches over the names of the fallen Vietnam soldiers. And at night, soft white lighting makes the names appear to float in space. On the reverse, displays remember Ohioans lost in each conflict going back to the War of 1812.

A reflecting pond in tribute to POWs is off to one side, and the whole area is surrounded by black granite benches honoring troops, battalions, and even animals who served in the conflicts.

Rob Seelbach from Barberton is one of the volunteers relaxing and reflecting on the white veranda overlooking the monument.

“I was shocked and amazed when I first came down last year. There’s 3,018 killed in Vietnam… one woman killed in Vietnam and 76 MIA’s, and that’s why I sit here every day. To honor them. I’ve had people break down and cry… and say that it’s better than the wall in D.C. You CAN actually touch the wall, and that’s what’s important to some people, to be able to touch the wall.”

Plans for the wall began a decade ago and, after numerous stops and starts, and a lot of fundraising from private citizens and corporate sponsors, the park opened in 2009. John Carroll of Portage Lakes served in Vietnam in the late 1960s. Seeing a Cobra helicopter displayed behind the wall reminds him of one thing.

“All the times they came and supported us in combat. That’s why we are the nation we are, because of the quality of equipment and troops we have. Vietnam was a little unfortunate the turn out there but, we learned. At least I hope we learned. That would be my heart’s desire that we learned something there.”

Sitting across from Carroll most days is the memorial park board’s president, Ray Arnold, who served in Vietnam at about the same time. He’s happy soldiers returning today from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are getting a better reception than those in the 1960s and 1970s. But he visits every day to honor all veterans.

“Back in 9-11, the patriotism was at an all-time high and it seemed like, three months later, it went down. But in all reality, that’s America. It takes something bad to get ‘em juiced up. Then after a while, they kind of go on living their lives and everything. Whereas down here, all of us attempt to keep things going for those boys on the wall. They’re all important to us.”

Arnold quickly changes the subject as Ken Noon arrives. He carved most of the Gold Star Mother statue watching over the Vietnam side of the wall. He says the wall’s inscription -- "Lest We Forget" -- speaks for itself.

"Yesterday we had Northwest High School here. Each year, they come out to help landscape the park, and the senior kids are amazed at what they see here. It’s for our future, [to] let people know what these men done for our country. Each town has a memorial, but when people see all these names together, it makes a bigger impact. Let’s people know that, for our freedom, a lot of men and women lost their lives so we can our hamburgers on Memorial Day."

Noon is planning a Blue Star Mother statue, which watches over living soldiers, and is optimistic that the park will get a “Huey” helicopter for display before August 4. That’s the day the Ohio Veterans’ Memorial Park will inscribe 291 names of men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the solemnity of that toll, the event is meant to be a celebration, and will include a car show, concert, Civil War re-enactment and 5 & 10k runs.

Related Links & Resources
Ohio Veterans' Memorial Park

Listener Comments:

Ohio Civil War story

Unusual approach to telling an ancestor’s Civil War story see book review at

Posted by: Max Terman (Kansas) on May 28, 2012 7:05AM
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University