An Oak Harbor man was among 15 veterans inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame on Thursday — an honor reserved for veterans who, after their military service, have served their communities.
Harold J. Fillmore, a World War II Navy veteran, has volunteered for 58 years with the Boy Scouts and with veterans and civic organizations. He designed and built veterans’ burial flag cases, helped spearhead the design and construction of a veterans memorial, and led a campaign to plant trees throughout Oak Harbor to inspire civic pride and awareness of local history.
The Hall of Fame induction, which was at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, was the first of a series of events planned in conjunction with Veterans Day, which falls on Sunday this year.
The Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition and Toledo Move to Amend are planning three events Sunday centered on peace and hope. Veterans Day, which until 1954 was called Armistice Day, was established to mark the end of World War 1 and the signing of the Armistice of 1918 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
“It’s time to recapture the original meaning of the day, the end of the war, the beginning of peace and newfound hope,” Army veteran and peace coalition member Steve Miller said in a news release. “The real enemy is war itself. Maybe for today we can venerate that.”
At 11 a.m. Sunday, area churches are being asked to ring their bells 11 times to symbolize the signing of the armistice that ended World War I and the fighting that killed an estimated 8 million military personnel worldwide and more than 6 million civilians between 1914 and 1918.
From noon to 1 p.m. Sunday, the peace coalition will hold its traditional picket for peace at Collingwood Boulevard and Monroe Street with a backdrop of 269 tombstones representing the soldiers from Ohio who have been killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. At 1 p.m., a vigil with music, presentations from local organizations, and a prayer will be held there.
Other area Veterans Day events include:
● The VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System will hold an open house from 4:30 to 6 p.m. today for the public to tour its new outpatient clinic, 1200 S. Detroit Ave. An invitation-only ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held before the open house.
● Veterans will be honored and a new flag dedicated at the entrance of Cullen Park on North Summit Street at 2 p.m. Sunday. The flag pole was donated to the Visions of Cullen Park group by veteran Howard Pinkley and the flag donated by his daughter, Wendy. The public is welcome.
● The University of Toledo will hold its 8th annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and Resource Fair from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Monday at UT’s Savage Arena and Veterans’ Plaza.
The event, which is free and open to all veterans and their families, is supported by the American Red Cross of Greater Toledo, Block Communications Inc., Lucas County commissioners, and the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission.
● Area residents may take faded or torn U.S. flags to “Operation Respect” at local Andersons stores from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Since its inception in 2001, the organization has collected and respectfully disposed of more than 34,000 flags.
Members of the U.S. Navy Sea Cadets’ Commodore Perry Division, area Boy Scouts, the UT ROTC Rocket Battalion, and members of the Ohio Military Reserve will assist at the collection stations at the Andersons stores at Talmadge Road and Monroe Street, Illinois Avenue in Maumee, Woodville Mall, and at 7638 West Sylvania Ave.
● Two Hancock County men, both former prisoners of war from World War II, will be honored at the AmVets Post 21 POW/MIA ceremony at noon Monday at the post, 423 Trenton Ave., Findlay. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will recognize Don Bish, who served in the Army's 106th Infantry Division, and Ken Lentz, who was a B-17 tail gunner with the Army Air Corps.
● Terra State Community College in Fremont will host a musical tribute to veterans at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Student Activities Center. Free and open to the public, the event will feature Terra’s Choral Society, Chamber Arts Orchestra, Jazz Band, and area high school choirs.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6129.