JACKSON TOWNSHIP Keep vets memorial simple, architect says

The monument would be a lasting tribute to local war veterans.
NORTH JACKSON -- A veterans memorial to be erected in the Jackson Township Cemetery should be a simple, dignified and durable landmark, speakers said during a township trustees' meeting.
"The more general you keep it, the better off you'll be," said architect K. Anthony Hayek of MS Consultants of Youngstown, who is working on the design.
"Simple, dignified and general -- that way we're not going to get ourselves into a corner and hurt somebody's feelings," replied Mike Markel, of Sandy Lane, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, who served in submarine duty.
Hayek said Tuesday that any attempt to inscribe all the names of the township's veterans in the monument would run the risk of omitting some of them.
Fund-raising idea: Diana Goldner, of Salem-Warren Road, an Air Force retiree who served during the Vietnam era, suggested allowing people to sponsor bricks inscribed with the names of local veterans as a fund-raising effort, and Hayek said the bricks could become part of a walkway approaching the monument.
"I'd like to see something qualitywise that would stand the test of time," said Olin Harkleroad, president of the North Jackson Citizens' Association.
The monument should be "something really simple, but something that stands out," Goldner said. About a dozen people attended the meeting, including World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans.
The monument to honor all American war veterans would be in the southwest corner of the cemetery, which is on state Route 45, about a half-mile north of Mahoning Avenue, and contains the graves of at least 1,400 veterans. The memorial would be designed as a focal point for Memorial Day and Veterans' Day observances.
Specifics: Hayek said the monument, which may be inscribed "In memory of those who served," would be built with durable materials, such as stone, brick or concrete. He said it would have a handicapped-accessible and nearly maintenance-free design and would feature a lighted flagpole and probably some benches.
Trustee Steve Gondol, who proposed the monument, said the township could spend up to $5,000 on the project and the rest of the money could come from grants and local fund-raising efforts. Gondol said he could not give a total cost estimate. Gondol and his fellow trustees, Charles Booth and John Jakubec, are Vietnam-era veterans.
Hayek said he'd consult with the 10 other architects at his firm concerning the design and return with drawings of some proposed design concepts in four to six weeks.
"I think it's only about 40 years too late. It should have been done a long time ago," Jack Acri, of Gibson Road, a Korean War Army veteran and retired photographer, said of the memorial. "The kids of today and the families of today do not realize what these [veterans] went through," he added. "It would be very nice. It's what we need. I want something that's of decent size so it is respectable."
"It's a good idea. There should be something there to get people's attention," said Robert Bletso of Mahoning Avenue, a World War II Navy veteran, who presented photos of some completed veterans monuments from a veterans organization newsletter.

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