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New memorial dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients to be built in Dayton

Proposed construction of Honor Park in Dayton
Courtesy of Wright Dunbar, Inc.
Proposed construction of Honor Park in Dayton

On December 1, Wright Dunbar Inc. announced the construction of a memorial in a Dayton park to honor Medal of Honor recipients in the region.

Located adjacent to the West Third Street Bridge, the park will be renamed Honor Park.

Currently, the park is the site of four World War I memorials and two Gold Star Mothers memorials.

Development chair for Wright Dunbar, Karla Garrett Harshaw, said there are 40 Medal of Honor recipients across Greene, Darke, Preble, Montgomery, Clark, Butler, Warren and Miami counties that will be recognized through this memorial.

She also said this is a completely volunteer-led initiative.

“I'm pleased to be a part of helping to recognize them, to inform people about their efforts and hopefully to give more attention to the need for military service and to praise those who make that commitment.”

The project, spearheaded by Wright Dunbar, has garnered approval from various city agencies and organizations. With $900,000 already raised for construction, funding contributions have come from the city of Dayton and Montgomery County Commissioners among others.

The entire project is expected to cost $1.5 million. The Medal of Honor memorial also has seventeen local campaign leaders to help support its construction efforts.

Federal Judge Walter Rice is acting as an honorary chair for the memorial.

My role primarily is to be a cheerleader for the project, to let people know in any way that I can why it is so proper and fitting that we honor our veterans and particularly the Medal of Honor winners, and to put this project on the community radar,” he said.

The memorial will appear as a circular construction most likely made of granite with a stone pillar in the center, said Garrett Harshaw.

Park visitors will also be able to learn the stories of the distinguished veterans through an interactive website that is planned to be accessible through a scannable QR code.

Campaign chair Bryan Suddith from Montgomery County Veteran Services said this detail will make it especially different from the other memorials that are currently on site.

“This one is unique in that a monument [has not been] built like this with the interactive, technological component that tells the stories of these soldiers and sailors,” he said.

Garrett Harshaw said $300,000 from the raised funds will be used to support long-term maintenance of the park and memorial.

Construction of the memorial is expected to start in the summer of next year and be completed at the end of 2024.

For more information about the memorial, you can call 937-402-0529. Donations can also be made online.

Adriana Martinez-Smiley (she/they) is the Environment and Indigenous Affairs Reporter for WYSO. They grew up in Hamilton, Ohio and graduated from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in June 2023. Before joining WYSO, her work has been featured in NHPR, WBEZ and WTTW.

Email: amartinez-smiley@wyso.org
Cell phone: 937-342-2905