“We’re pretty excited about it,” said Karla Garrett Harshaw, who serves on the board of Wright Dunbar Inc. and is overseeing the project. “We feel pretty good about things right now.”
Fundraising kicked in around early summer, but the overall project has been in the works for close to three years. So far, $900,000 of a planned $ 1.5 million has been raised.
Sometimes called the Congressional Medal of Honor, the medal is the United States’ highest award for military valor, recognizing actions considered above and beyond the call of duty. There have been 3,536 such medals awarded in the nation’s history, with 65 living recipients, according to Congress.
The planned memorial will be the centerpiece of a Dayton city park at the northeast corner of Third Street and Edwin C. Moses Boulevard, diagonally across from the 1905 Wright Flyer lll statue, which was placed near the intersection this summer.
Passers-by can see a quartet of World War 1 memorials already located in the park, along with a pair of Gold Star Mother memorials.
“This would be a major improvement to the park,” Harshaw said. “It will give high recognition not only to the Medal of Honor recipients but also to about 100,000 veterans in the region. We will call attention to them as well.”
The memorial will also be an extension of the Dayton Region Walk of Fame. The park will become known as The Honor Park. (The Walk of Fame recognizes those with extraordinary Dayton-area accomplishments to their credit.)
Some of the most recent recipients of the Medal of Honor are Airman First Class William (Bill) H. Pitsenbarger, Army Specialist Joseph Guy LaPointe, Jr., and Corporal Anthony (Tony) Michael Stein.
An online educational component to the memorial is planned.
Construction is projected to begin in the summer of 2024 with completion by the end of the year.
Support is still needed. You can donate online to the Medal of Honor Campaign Fund #2231 at https://bit.ly/medal-of-honor-memorial
Or mail a check to the Dayton Foundation, Medal of Honor Memorial Campaign Fund #2231-,1401 S. Main St., Suite 100, Dayton, OH 45409. (The foundation is supporting the project as a component fund of the foundation. )
The plan is to retain $300,000 of the amount raised to go toward long-term maintenance of the park, Harshaw said.