Union at northwest Ohio tank plant seeks museum near flag monument to honor military veterans


LIMA, Ohio — People who oversee a towering flag monument honoring military veterans plan to add a museum at the northwest Ohio site.

The organizers hope to display part of a beam from the World Trade Center wreckage and dirt from various battlefields dating as far back as the Revolutionary War, The Lima News reported. They also have a flag flown over the Presidential Palace in Baghdad after U.S. troops overtook the city, as well as a near-life-sized model of an Abrams tank, which is built nearby at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.

The veterans committee for the union representing workers at the manufacturing center is pushing to turn an old utility building into the museum.

Greg Gebolys, chairman of the UAW Local 2075 Veterans Committee, said his target date for the project, which is still in the planning stages, is 2015. The volunteers to work on it are lined up, and the biggest hurdle will be raising money to cover the cost, estimated at $150,000, he said.

“What we want to do is highlight the sacrifices the American soldiers have given so we can have our freedom,” Gebolys said.

The idea is for a museum open on a weekend day or by appointment for student tours or other groups.

It would be near the Freedom Flag, a monument that appears from afar to be the image of a flag but is actually a series of five, 25-foot columns made of engraved bricks honoring veterans.