Bay veterans to be honored with wall of plaques
Bay Village and Westshore veterans organizations (VFW Post 9693, American Legion Post 385 and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 249), combined with support from the City of Bay Village, The Bay Village Foundation, and the Bay Village Kiwanis, have joined to establish an ongoing tribute to Bay Village area veterans and established members of the three local veterans organizations.
A Veterans Honor Wall will be dedicated on Saturday, Nov. 10, 11:00 a.m., at the Dwyer Senior Center, 300 Bryson Lane. Bay Village veterans and residents are invited to attend.
The Honor Wall will consist of a central tribute site and adjacent wall space with plaques bearing names of deceased members and local veterans. The initial dedication will just be the start to establish the Honor Wall.
Biannual updates will be made with appropriate honors to add to or modify and improve the site. The efforts to organize plans and support have taken time but it has resulted in a structured process to maintain and preserve this honorable tribute to our many veterans that served their country and returned to continue to serve their community and build their lives and families that have become the backbone of our city, county, state and country.
Work is in progress to identify information and search for additional eligible names. This includes researching of organizational records and city historical records. A database is being developed to gather information on each person. Service information, awards, etc., will be used but no personal data such as address, Social Security number, or service number information will be included. The initial data will be presented in hard copy and will be updated periodically by the joint veterans committee assigned to maintain and expand the information and plaques into the future. Plans are to move this information to an actual database. This will present an opportunity in the future to include a few photos of each veteran honored and copies of key records.
This Honor Wall will include residents from all over the Westshore and the country for those members of the Bay Village veterans organizations. Many of these members are from Westlake, Avon, Rocky River, and other surrounding communities. Updates to the Honor Wall will occur near Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year. Dates and times will be published in advance and appropriate ceremonies will be held.
The main tribute area will consist of two VFW plaques, two American Legion plaques and one VVA plaque, along with suitable decorations. The two plaques of VFW members already exist and will be the core of the initial dedication. Two American Legion plaques are in process but may not be received by Nov. 10. If not received in time, the Legion and VVA plaques will be dedicated in May near Memorial Day.
After the central tribute area, all additional plaques will be generic and include any eligible names no matter what organization or date of death. All information will be contained in the data listing and each plaque will be identified by a number for reference to locate a name of a relative or friend. These plaques will be mounted on adjacent wall space in the Dwyer Senior Center.
If you have information regarding a local Bay veteran or member of either Bay post and wish to contact the Honor Wall Committee, you can send the information to either of the following addresses: Veterans Honor Wall, VFW Post 9693, P.O. Box 40185, Bay Village, Ohio 44140; or Veterans Honor Wall, American Legion Post 385, 695 Cahoon Rd., Westlake, Ohio 44145. The information or question will be referred to the committee for review and validation.
If you cannot join in the dedication, please consider a trip to the Dwyer Senior Center soon to visit the Veterans Honor Wall, sign our visitation book, and note the many great opportunities offered by the Senior Center for our community. Please support any local veterans event and honor the many that have served and returned to continue to serve.
For American Legion Commander Stan Zeager, VVA Representative Geoff Kedzierski and myself, thank you and God bless America.