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Veterans Memorial Plaza Dedicated in Summit County

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Office of Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro
A Summit County veteran views the Vietnam Veterans Memorial plaque.

Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro today officially dedicated the newly finished Summit County Veterans Memorial Plaza outside the county courthouse. The plaza now includes plaques featuring the names of fallen Summit County service members from World War I, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, in addition to the World War II Memorial plaques installed in 2018. The plaza is also now home to a Soldiers Cross sculpture that honors all Summit County service members and was donated by local business owner Paul Thomarios.

The plaza was funded by a $25,000 grant from the Summit County Veterans Service Commission. County funds were used to remodel the plaza to be handicap accessible, installing concrete sidewalks with direct access to the memorials. There is additional space in the plaza for future memorials.

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Office of Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro
Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro presents Bruce Kilian with a proclamation recognizing his military service and contributions to the community.

"The Summit County Veterans Memorial Plaza serves to recognize the sacrifice of those who shouldered the rich burden for many and selflessly sacrificed their lives for our nation," Shapiro said at the dedication. "Here in Summit County, we have a rich tradition of honoring and supporting those who served, and I am proud to carry on this legacy."

In addition to dedicating the memorial, Shapiro presented Bruce Killian with a proclamation recognizing him for his military service in the Vietnam War and his contributions to Summit County, including his role in the plaza. Shapiro started plans for the plaza in 2018 after the World War II Memorial plaques were installed outside of the courthouse.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.