The long-anticipated formal dedication of the Springboro Veterans Memorial will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
The dedication comes six months after it was originally planned and more than three decades after Springboro Mayor John Agenbroad and Eddie Lawson Jr., a local lawyer and veteran’s advocate, first pitched the idea.
The memorial is one of several new ones taking shape around the Miami Valley. Another was dedicated last November in Troy.
Agenbroad and Lawson first broached the idea in 1994 while on Springboro City Council.
Agenbroad, a veteran of the U.S. Marines, served in Vietnam and was awarded a Purple Heart.
An avid veterans advocate, Agenbroad has kept at the project, taken up by city staff, including recently retired City Manager Christine Thompson.
The design was funded with $9,100 donated in March 2016 by the Rotary Club of Springboro.
The memorial was originally planned for North Park in Springboro, but moved to Gardner Park, 16 acres off North Main Street, Ohio 741 in Springboro.
Outdoor Enterprises of Casstown in Miami County was awarded the contract for the project.
Final laser imaging on the granite-wall monument was completed by Laser Imaging & Design in Lebanon.
“As the process unfolded, the city of Springboro wanted to get more and more involved,” owner Jim Smith said Thursday.
Plans for five military emblems morphed into the existing design, which features a continuous wall mural stretching 20 feet in length and 5 feet high. Panels tell the story of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
A second monument, a 9-foot tall, 6-sided monolith spelling out the stories of each branch, as well as the city itself, was added.
The memorial also includes walks and trees around a central plaza fashioned from stone, including imported granite.
Laser Imaging is also working on tree markers that will be placed by trees in memory of lost loved ones.
“It was an absolute pleasure working with the city of Springboro,” Smith said.
The Lebanon-based company has completed work on a series of veterans memorials, most recently the U.S. Navy Seal Memorial in Virginia Beach, Va.
Twice the Springboro unveiling was delayed while the contractors continued to work on the project.
Ceremonies planned on Memorial Day and Independence Day were postponed.
The total price tag is $228,078, including $13,400 in donations, according to city records.
Beginning at 11 a.m., there will be a presentation of the colors by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, police department, Clearcreek Fire District and ROTC Honor Guards, as well as a 21-gun salute.
Retired 3-star General Michael Zettler, a Springboro resident, is to make remarks. Local pastors Terry Carlisle and Wayne Mock will handle the invocation and benediction.
Agenbroad will open the ceremony, the fruition of more than 30 years of work.
“I’m ecstatic,” Agenbroad. “I’m so proud.”
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