MEDINA — Former Medina High School students who have served their country will be honored Friday by Young Americans for Freedom.
The conservative organization will dedicate a black granite monument at 6:30 p.m. before the Medina-Highland football game at Ken Dukes Stadium. The monument will be placed by the 80-foot flag pole at the stadium.
The Medina High School Marching Band will play “God Bless America.”
Young Americans for Freedom, with assistance from local American Legion Post 202 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5137, raised the required $6,200 for the monument.
“We enjoyed working with the Young Americans for Freedom at the high school,” Post 202 Commander Dave Taylor said, “and will certainly support them and any other student group that wishes to honor the ideals of freedom, which were purchased from the service and sacrifices of our veterans.”
Young Americans President Zack Benner, a senior, said former club president Cole Stafford got the project off the ground two years ago, and Stafford’s successor, Jim Neumeier, took it to near completion last year.
“It was an honor to take on the project,” Benner said in a statement. “The strength of our organization is in its continuity of purpose and shared values of patriotism.
“Many high school graduates have served our country in the Armed Forces for many years, especially back in World War II. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice, including our alumnus, Devin Grella, who died in the global war on terrorism in Iraq. They are the reason we have the freedom we have in this high school today. This monument reflects everything that is near and dear to our hearts.”
Erin Kelley, a math teacher at the high school, is the Young Americans’ student adviser.
She said she is proud of what the club has accomplished, including raising $1,000 to help American Legion Post 202’s “flags in every classroom” project that was completed this year.
“This monument is another ‘point of remembrance’ on the high school campus that serves to remind our students that freedom is not free,” Kelley said. “It requires sacrifice and selfless service.”
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.