The Kent Central Gateway veterans memorial attracted those who served and those people of different backgrounds gathered to honor veterans from all branches of the military.
PARTA partnered with the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center to hold the ceremony and prayer service in downtown Kent. The veteran’s memorial was dedicated last year and installed by local artist and war veteran George Danhires. The bronze figures, on the corner of Eric Street and Route 59, represent veterans of past generations, unreturned prisoners of war and those missing in action, said Frank Hairston, marketing director of PARTA.
Claudia Amrhein, general manager of PARTA, introduced the Honor Guard presentation of colors by Kent State University Veterans Campus Club and Ravenna’s Veterans of Forgiven Wars.
“The Kent Central Gateway Memorial honors the men and women who have served all branches of our military, past, present, fallen and POW/MIA,” Armheim said. “We invite all of you to consider this a place to pause and a place to stop and reflect on the service of veterans.”
Reverend Michael Garvy, a retiree of the United States Navy, gave the invocation and commended the veterans who have given their lives for American freedom. He added that veterans should be honored and thanked everyday, not just on Veteran’s Day.
Guests from the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives spoke and showed their gratitude for those who have served.
“Veterans Day — or me — is always a day of joy and celebration, but I’m always honored when I have a chance to speak to our nation’s veterans,” said Kathleen Clyde, the state senator who represents the City of Kent. “I know that the only reason I am able to stand before you today and participate in this ceremony is because of your valor and sacrifice. Each year we come together and celebrate your service. That is never enough.”
Bryan Bowman, who handles veterans outreach and constituent services for congressman Jim Renacci, recognized veterans in the audience. Those present had served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. He also thanked peacetime veterans who carry the torch until the next generation steps up to serve.
Sara Lowry, community liaison for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, thanked veterans for their dedication to serve.
“Your commitment to our nation is both admired and appreciated throughout the entire nation,” Lowry said. “The sacrifices you and your families have made deserve our countries deepest respect.”
Contact Jamie Brian at [email protected]