FAIRBORN — A walk-up memorial aimed at honoring all Fairborn veterans is closer to being a reality after the Fairborn Military Veterans Committee, who is spearheading the effort, collected $35,000 Jan. 24 to go toward the cause.
In the center of the memorial will be a 12-foot-tall five-sided obelisk with each side honoring each branch of the military and a golden eagle on top. Pavers and benches to continue honoring local veterans will surround it. Flags, lighting and wall cut-outs will be toward the outside of the memorial. Each of the walls will highlight different topics, such as the history of Fairborn and military animals.
The memorial will be located in front of Fairborn Senior Housing, 221 N. Central Ave.
“We thought the location was great because it’s on Central Avenue … the Fourth of July parade goes right by there, it’s right around the corner from the Fairborn Police Department on a major thoroughfare so it won’t get vandalized,” Committee Co-Chair Dan Kirkpatrick said. “That’s why we have selected this location.”
The idea first surfaced in early 2016 when a group of local veterans decided that Fairborn needed a military memorial that allows individuals to walk up, reflect and spend time there to pay their respects for members of the service. Kirkpatrick highlighted that Fairborn already has a military memorial, but it is limited when it comes to allowing individuals to spend time there reflecting.
“It was put up 35 years ago … but the only problem with it is that it’s in the middle of the street. You can’t walk up to it and sit there because you’ll get run over,” Kirkpatrick said. “The only time you can go up to it is when the street is blocked off, so the veterans got together and said ‘we want something more substantial in Fairborn to recognize the fact that Fairborn is a military town … The idea was ‘let’s do more for our veterans to recognize them.’”
The Fairborn Military Veterans Committee is collecting photos to be scanned onto the memorial. If individuals are interested in submitting a photo, they should be printed with the name and short biography of the veteran as well as a mailing address so that photos can be returned. Photos should be mailed to Kirkpatrick at 1520 Meadowlands Dr.
Individuals can also purchase a brick to be etched and included in the memorial. Ranging in size from four inches-by-eight inches for $100; eight inches-by-eight inches for $300; eight inches-by-16 inches for $700; and 16 inches-by-16 inches for $1,500. Cash donations are also being accepted for the cause.
Donating $500-$999 qualifies donors to be on the bronze level; $1,000-$4,999 qualifies for the silver level; $5,000-$9,999 qualifies for the gold level; $10,000-$24,999 qualifies for the platinum level and $25,000 or more qualifies for the diamond level. A granite bench is also available for $10,000. Major donors will have their names etched on one of the outside walls of the memorial.
Donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, 12 North Central Ave. Checks should be made out to the Greene County Community Foundation with Fairborn Military Veterans Memorial in the memo field.
Visit fairbornvetsmemorial.com for more information.
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.