YORK TWP. — The Medina County Sheriff’s Office has yet to identify who is responsible for vandalizing a piece of the Gold Star Families Memorial, but that hasn’t stopped the township from moving forward and working to restore the monument.
“We met last Thursday at a township trustee meeting and we decided to go with a company that has a crane truck and they are going to pick up the stone and take it to their shop and assess it,” Trustee Richard Monroe said Wednesday.
It was on March 20 when a resident visiting the York Township Community Park discovered the damage and alerted township officials. The base of the monument dedicated to the U.S. Army was ripped out of the ground and is no longer attached to a large marble foundation slab. The base had been lifted out of the ground and the main stone had been chipped.
“It was very disheartening,” Trustee William Pavlick said Wednesday. “We just couldn’t believe that someone would be that disrespectful to the Gold Star memorial. … It was quite a shock for all of us.”
But that shock was soon replaced with community pride as Monroe said local businesses and community members have come together to try and raise money to help cover the cost of repairs.
“There’s been a great outpouring in the community, a lot of support,” he said. “People have been writing checks, personal checks.”
The Medina County Veterans Service Office is also accepting donations to help cover the cost of repairs. Donations are tax deductible.
The entire monument, which is located in the community park on Columbia Road just north of state Route 18, was built about three years ago at a cost of about $140,000. It is dedicated to Gold Star families whom have lost a loved one serving in the military.
A “Not on my Watch” monument is part of memorial along with six granite monuments erected by Milano Monuments. A prominent part is a pair of monuments positioned next to each other thar form the outline of a saluting solider.
It was funded through donations and fundraising.
Monroe has said it is one of the largest Gold Star memorials of its kind in the country. And despite its visible location, the memorial has never been vandalized in the past. Monroe said the memorial is not insured.
Cowboy Rocks, a company with a quarry out of Lorain County, will assess the damaged monument and will be resetting the other monuments in the memorial as well.
Now, the township wants to take steps to ensure more eyes are on the memorial.
The township is looking into a security system and video cameras for the park.
“We are going to sit down and discuss a security system,” said Monroe. “We haven’t finalized anything yet.”
More information about donations to repair the Gold Star Families Memorial can be found at www.medinacountyveteransserviceoffice.org or by calling the veterans service office at (330) 722-9368 or the township at (330) 722-0185.