GREEN — Green High School sophomore and Boy Scout Jarod Korn has found a way to honor his community and seek scouting’s highest award at the same time.
With the help of family, friends, the Green Lions Club, the city and four area businesses the Eagle Scout candidate re-created a Green Township memorial that had been missing in action for nearly 50 years.
The brick and unusually lighted project was completed Friday in the city’s Veterans Memorial Park on Steese Road behind Fire Station No. 1 in memory of Green Township residents who served and sacrificed during World War II.
Originally built about 1948 by Green Township firefighters and placed outside the township’s old fire station at Greensburg and Massillon roads, it was removed in the late 1960s after falling into disrepair when frost and water got inside.
The re-created memorial will be dedicated during Green’s Veterans Day service at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Asked to evaluate the project, Jarod, a scout for 10 years and a member of Green Valley United Methodist Church Troop 330, said, “It’s surreal. It is the culmination of a lot of work, and I am awed by how it has come together," he said. “I was at a point [last winter] where I was ready to start thinking about a project and then my scout master, Robert Valloric, approached me and I accepted the challenge.”
Because of inclement weather this weekend, the ceremony will be held inside the Queen of Heaven Parish Center at 1800 Steese Road.
Retired Green Fire Chief Bob Calderone and retired 38-year city employee Roy Witsaman said they believe the signage was removed in the late 1960s.
Instead of destroying the boards bearing the names of the honorees, the three panels were preserved in storage, said Staci Schweikert, secretary of the Green Historical Society.
She said that about 20 years ago, Barbara Holdren, who retired in 2016 as Green zoning inspector, provided the society with a copy of the names on the memorial.
Armed with those names and a few photos, project manager Jarod worked with his architect/uncle Dennis Check of Copley to design the memorial.
The project consists of three 6-foot-tall, brick sign cases placed in a triangle with 324 names on one side and plaques and explanations on the reverse sides to aid attendees viewing the site.
The project was aided by a $10,000 donation from the Green Lions Club. Workmanship was provided by LED Connexion of North Canton, IGS Interior Graphic Systems of Green, Ellet Sign Co. of Akron and Joe Hercules Mason of New Franklin.
Jarod’s mother, Crystal Korn, said, “His father [Jason Korn] and I are very proud of him. He has been working very hard on this. He was only 15 when he started, but he has really accomplished much.”
Added Dad, “He has presented this to the city boards five times, and every time he was very professional in the way he presented this project. You could see his growth and maturity every time.”
Jeff Welch, owner of LED Connexion, said the Lasers Edge Technology is patented and was used as the basis to light the memorial. This LED technology has never been on the market until now.
With the assistance of Jeff Kunze, the designer of the display, a version of the technology was used to create the acrylic panels on which the names appear.
The memorial's three walls of lights will be lit around the clock for easier viewing.
George W. Davis can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org