*Other GCVM News*
 
6/11/04 Press Release
 
5/23/03 Press Release
 

 

The Greater Cleveland Veterans Memorial (GCVM) web site was created as a living memorial to honor those Greater Clevelanders who lost their lives in the wars of the 20th Century. Those who lost their lives are memorialized in the GCVM Honor Roll.  
     
 
GCVM History and Mission
 
     
 

Created in 1988, the Greater Cleveland Veteran's Memorial, Inc. (initially named the Greater Cleveland Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, Inc.) was formed to honor those who served, died, or were declared missing in Vietnam from the Greater Cleveland area. This initial band of Vietnam veterans, however, recognized the need for a broader mission and the participation of veterans of all wars in this special project. The scope of the evolving GCVM mission: to create and maintain appropriate memorials to those Greater Clevelanders who died or were declared missing in service to our nation in the wars that have taken place in the 20th century. Our mission, once again, has expanded to include the casualties of Gulf War II (Iraq, 2003).

One of the most challenging tasks was to compile and verify the names of all the servicemen killed or missing from the Greater Cleveland area. Presently, on the granite basin of the Veterans' Memorial Plaza (formerly Mall "A"), Marshall Fredericks' majestic centerpiece (the Fountain of Eternal Life, symbolizing mankind rising out of the ashes of war), are those names of World War II and Korean casualties from the City of Cleveland who perished in those wars. Marshall Fredericks described his central Figure, towering 46 feet above the basin, in this way:

"This Figure expresses the main theme of the Fountain, namely, the spirit of mankind rising out of the encircling flames of war, pestilence, and the destructive elements of life, reaching and ascending to a new understanding of life. Man rising above death, reaching upward to his God and toward Peace."

Our objective has been to add the names of servicemen killed or declared missing from Cuyahoga County from all 20th century wars beginning with the Spanish-American War through the Persian Gulf War's I and II to the Center Fountain. The GCVM's Honor Roll Project, chaired and directed by Bob Camburn, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, has worked diligently since 1989 to accomplish the following tasks:

    1. Compile and verify all names from the wars of the 20th century beyond World War II and Korea;
    2. Gather personal information to the extent possible as to each of the casualties of all the wars of the 20th century; and
    3. Confirm that the names currently on the center fountain of the Veterans' Memorial Plaza are spelled correctly.

There are currently 4,177 names on the existing Center Fountain Memorial. These names represent Americans who died during WWII and Korea. We will add approximately 1,270 additional names to the Center Fountain Memorial to include those Greater Clevelanders who died in the Spanish-American War, WWI, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf War's I and II. This number also includes those who perished during WWII and Korea, for whom we found information, but whose names are not currently on the Center Fountain Memorial. To review the Greater Cleveland Veteran's Memorial Honor Roll Criteria please see the Criteria page.

The Greater Cleveland Veteran's Memorial, Inc., an Ohio corporation not for profit, is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation representing veterans throughout Cuyahoga County. Ten years ago the GCVM's plan was to design, construct, and perpetually maintain memorial sculptures on Veteran's Memorial Plaza coordinated artistically with Marshall Fredericks' sculpture, "The Fountain of Eternal Life", in addition to adding the names of Greater Cleveland's war casualties to the Center Fountain. Along with the explosion in technology, the GCVM's plan evolved into the creation of a "living memorial" to honor our war casualties in place of the more traditional sculptures. This web site is our "living memorial" to those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country. This living memorial invites family, loved ones, friends, comrades-at-arms, acquaintances, and strangers to enter and learn about those who served and died. Help us to remember - - to memorialize - - the service and sacrifice reflected in these names. Help us as we continue to gather accurate information, including photographs, of all 5,511 persons honored on this site. Each name represents a person whose life was cut short in service to duty, honor, and country. We owe a sacred obligation to these fallen heroes that the generations to come not forget what they have done. This living memorial will ensure that Greater Cleveland's casualties of war spanning the 104 years from 1899 to 2003 will not be forgotten.

 

 
  GCVM Volunteers  
  Since its creation in 1988 the GCVM has been served by volunteers. Men and women in this community, veteran and non-veteran alike, have contributed countless hours of their time to make this memorial a reality. Over the years, many have volunteered to assist in different ways. Those contributions are acknowledged and recognized even though we cannot name all who gave something to the cause. Others served as officers and trustees of the GCVM, which we acknowledge and to whom we offer thanks (in alphabetical order): Frank Aleksandrowicz, Martin J. Bar, Joseph Barron, Dell Beekman, Jr.*, Harriet M. Beekman*, Virginia Benson, Charla Billy, Robert L. Bloom, Robert A. Camburn*, Donald A. Campbell, Cynthia Campbell, John Campbell, James Ciara, Phillip A. Cooney, James Daley, Richard W. Danielson*, Mark DeMarino, Robert S. Easley, William L. Eason, Sean E. Ennis*, William C. Ferguson, Fred R. Fox, Jr., Patricia Giles, Dan E. Hogan, Tom J. Horvath, Michael E. Jackson, Ronald E. Kimmel, Karl J. Koch*, John C. Kovach, Mathew Lobas, James D. Markham, Patrick M. McLaughlin*, Judge Timothy McMonagle, Joseph P. Meissner*, Kenneth P. Milenovic, Judge Donald C. Nugent, Richard Oehlstrom*, Chester R. Ostrowski, Ronald J. Paciorek, James D. Quisenberry*, Roman Rakowsky, Dick Readinger, Jr., Larry Rieck, Edwin M. Robins, Rimantas 'Ray' Saikus, Robert Schumacher, Kenneth G. Schutt, Margaret Stano, Ronald J. Seman, Willard Shepard, John A. Smerillo, Ben S. Stefanski II, Frank Tesch, George N. Vourlojianis, Klaus Williams, and Dietz H. Ziechmann.
(* indicates current GCVM officer)

In addition to officers, trustees, and volunteers this long endeavor has been aided by others who have contributed significantly to our progress. We offer our gratitude to our advisors and Capital Campaign fundraisers, many of whom are veterans (in alphabetical order): Richard J. Ambrose, E. John Brzytwa, Barton D. Buechner, Carter R. Dodge, Gil Goldberg, Robert Haas, James B. Jerele, Thomas S. Kilbane, Frank E. King, William J. Kopp, Michael Marcellino, Edwin A. Moore, John Pallam, John S. Perry, John S. Pyle, Donald L. Stallard, Edward Sunyak, Marion (Gene) Talley, Hilary S. Taylor, Frank J. Valenta, and Robert J. Valerian.

Special recognition and heartfelt thanks go to Anthony J. Poderis, Rolf Nord Kriken, Theodore E. Kurz, and Hunter Morrison for their unique guidance, expertise and contributions.

Lastly, we express our personal acknowledgment and appreciation to the late Marshall Fredericks who warmly welcomed and encouraged the GCVM in this mission. Like his monumental central Figure, he too was larger than life.

 

 
  GCVM Contributors  
 

Our mission could not be accomplished without the financial support of so many Greater Cleveland entities and individuals. Greater Cleveland did not let its war veterans down. The community responded with large and small donations, both monetary and in-kind contributions, without which this living memorial and the addition of the approximately 1,270 names to the Center Fountain Memorial (the adding of additional names expected to be completed and dedicated in 2003), would not have been possible. We recognize and thank the donors for their generosity and willingness to honor Greater Cleveland's war casualties: The George Gund Foundation; Cuyahoga County; Fred Lennon Charitable Trust; Cleveland Foundation; Ohio Arts Council; Nestlé-Stouffers; The Abington Foundation; The Andrews Foundation; The Murch Foundation; TRW Foundation; S. K. Wellman Foundation; Ed Lozick; Sherwin Williams; Mr. and Mrs. Jack Breen; Christine & Patrick McLaughlin; Edgewater VFW Post 387, West Shore Chapter #249, VVA; Centerior Energy Foundation (CEI); The Fox Foundation; Cleveland Browns; Dick and Kim Rose; Brush Wellman; Huntington National Bank; The Myers Foundation; The Carney Foundation; McLaughlin & McCaffrey, LLP; Cleveland Grays; Merrill Lynch; Anonymous; AmVets Post #80; Cuyahoga County Mayors' Secretaries Assoc.; MK Ferguson; American Legion, Firefighter's Post 339; American Ex-Prisoners of War, Barbed Wire Buckeye Chapter; Arter & Hadden; Polish Legion of American Veterans, U.S.A.; Richard Green; Thomas McDonald; Margaret Stano; Ben S. Stefanski, II; Dengensha America Corp.; Goodtime Cruise Line, Inc.; VVA Greater Cleveland Chapter 15; VFW Post 1082; 82nd Airborne Division Association; and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 738, Fairview Park. We have also received contributions of smaller dollar amounts from multiple donors and we offer our thanks and admiration to each of those donors.

In addition to monetary contributions we have received in-kind services from the following which have meant so much to the GCVM over the years of this special project: McLaughlin & McCaffrey, LLP; Legal Aid Society of Cleveland; Anthony J. Poderis; Schwarzwald & Rock; Watt Roop & Co. Public Relations; Continental Airlines; Sheraton Cleveland City Centre; Cleveland Marriott Hotel; Milano Monuments; Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company; Gallo Displays, Inc.; Vinyl Graphics; Okey Nestor; Alling and Cory; Perlmuter Printing Company; William R. Joseph; Kotecki Monuments, Inc.; Mansour, Gavin, Gerlack & Manos Co., LPA; Committee for Public Art; Lakewood Public Library; Maria's Roman Room; the Cleveland Grays; and InteroTech, LLC.

 
 
   
  Patrick M. McLaughlin
  President, GCVM
 
     
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