Oakwood Girl Scouts’ veterans memorial to be unveiled Nov. 10

After presentation at Rotary, scouts are presented with check to help cover costs of veterans memorial: (left to right) Scout leader Mayumi Hall, Sarah Hall, Sarah Harris, Mr. Rick DaPrato of the Oakwood Rotary Foundation, Isabel Rubin-Alvarez, Lizzi Clock, and Azalea Biteau. CONTRIBUTED.
Caption
After presentation at Rotary, scouts are presented with check to help cover costs of veterans memorial: (left to right) Scout leader Mayumi Hall, Sarah Hall, Sarah Harris, Mr. Rick DaPrato of the Oakwood Rotary Foundation, Isabel Rubin-Alvarez, Lizzi Clock, and Azalea Biteau. CONTRIBUTED.

The Silver Award is the highest in Girl Scouting, and the five members of Oakwood Girl Scout Troop No. 30149 will unveil their Silver Award Project — a special veterans memorial aimed at children — on Nov. 10 at 11:11 a.m. at Orchardly Park.

“The girls started talking about a veterans memorial aimed at children for their Silver Award Project, to help make young children aware of and appreciative of our vets,” said troop leader Mayumi Hall.

“The girls noticed that there weren’t too many veterans’ memorials in this town, and the ones that were here were too tall to be kid-friendly, so they wanted one the kids could see, reach, and learn from.”

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The troop members wanted the site to be Orchardly Park, since that’s where the young children played, and Hall suggested Virginia Krause Hess as the possible artist. Hess, a well-known artist in the Dayton area, designed several veterans’ sculptures in the area, including the Aviation Hall of Fame and the National Museum of the US Air Force.

“When the scouts asked me if I’d do their memorial, I felt it was a distinct honor,” said the 93-year-old artist. “I feel strongly about the Girl Scouts and our military.

“They were limited in space and funding, but the girls wanted something that children could respond to, and having it established in the park makes it very accessible.”

The monumenthas a plaque with faces of Oakwood veterans embedded in granite.

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“We met with the artist in person,” said scout Azalea Biteau. “Children can interact with the memorial and ask their parents questions to help them understand.” Dodds Memorials in Xenia helped the girls with the shape of the monument.

Fellow scout Sarah Hall noted that “the stone and plaque look really good, and the coloring of the stone goes well with the plaque.”

The plaque features images of present and former Oakwood veterans. Veterans in the relief represent various time periods and military fields.

As part of their effort to inform children, the scouts visited two classes at Harman Elementary and all fifth grade classes at Smith Elementary to explain their project and share the rendition of the memorial.

“We hope to continue to do this,” Biteau said. “The younger students were very respectful and understanding. They asked good questions which related well to our efforts to make the memorial happen. This encouraged us and helped us all feel proud.”

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Most area participants in the project only charged the cost of materials, or accepted what the troop could offer.

The Nov. 10 unveiling will happen at Orchardly Park, located at 2599 Delaine Avenue.

Contact this writer at virgburroughs@gmail.com