COVINGTON — Two Covington natives are bringing a new World War I monument to Covington this summer after a recent fundraising effort to memorialize local veterans.
Jay Wackler and David Frank, who also are Covington High School alumni, got together to raise funds for a World War I monument to honor local veterans.
“He’s writing a book on World War I veterans in the area,” Wackler said about Frank.
Wackler said they became inspired to preserve a plaque on the former Covington Armory honoring seven people from the Covington area who were killed in World War I. The plaque was installed on the armory in the early 1900s, and now it will become a part of the new World War I monument. The armory is now home to TUNS Air Conditioning and Furnaces, owned by Gary Korte, who donated the plaque to them.
“We’re very happy to have it,” Wackler said.
World War I lasted from July 28, 1914, to Nov. 11, 1918, so they will also be honoring last year’s 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War.
The monument itself will be 7-feet-by-7-feet with an additional bronze plaque on it to commemorate approximately 294 local veterans.
They reached out to the Miami Valley Veterans Museum to act as their financial entity for the fundraising project. Wackler said he needed almost $30,000 exactly for the monument, and he is about $5,000 short of the goal. More than $10,000 was donated in-kind to the project, including Newberry Township donating the land and the 10-foot long foundation.
In addition to honoring local veterans and memorializing World War I’s impact on the local area, Wackler and Frank also plan to use this monument to educate other on World War I.
“We’re all about education,” Wackler said.
He said they are working with the Covington school district to show students “how hard our ancestors fought to protect our liberties.”
He emphasized the importance of recognizing veterans and those who died serving the country, saying, “They gave their lives for us to live this way … It’s important for us to know the price they paid.”
They will be unveiling the monument for the public during Covington’s annual Memorial Day event, but they will also be holding a special dedication ceremony on May 9, with Covington schools. The business and technology class is also getting involved in documenting the project.
“They’re going to be making a very nice documentary,” Wackler said.
Wackler said students are filming parts of the etching process, which was done by Gary Condon of Nickol Monument of Versailles.
For more information or to donate to the creation of the monument, contact Jay Wackler at 418-2363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Sam Wildow at email@example.com