by Alison Adams | Reporter
Three hundred fifty veterans of the War of 1812 are buried in Summit County, making the 200th anniversary of the war especially significant throughout the area.
Around 50 people turned out June 18 to commemorate the war’s bicentennial at the Veterans Service Commission in Akron. The event was conducted by the Summit County Veterans Service Commission and the William Wetmore Chapter of the Daughters of 1812.
“Remember, it was freedom that soldiers brought,” said Summit County Executive Russ Pry, one of the hosts of the event.
Local veterans fought in numerous battles in Ohio and the midwest during the War of 1812, including the Battle of Lake Erie which was one of the victories that helped secure the war, said Pry in his remarks at the June 18 event.
Sharon Myers, president of the William Wetmore Chapter of the Daughters of 1812, presented Pry with a 15-star flag, a gift to Summit County from the Ohio War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. The flag was raised and the Summit County Bicentennial Bell rang when the flag reached its highest point.
Myers has been on a mission this year to locate the 350 War of 1812 veterans of Summit County. She has been researching by visiting gravesites, photographing tombstones and compiling biographies. The VSC purchased customized flag holders to mark the graves of the local veterans.
On Memorial Day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars put flags in the new holders.
“Together, the joint effort resulted in a beautiful, bicentennial tribute,” said VSC Board President Sonny Cool.
Cool also presented Myers June 18 with a flag holder of her own, in appreciation of the hard work she’s done to honor the local veterans.
During his presentation, Cool said those who came out to commemorate the veterans were “shining a light on the importance of this war.”
Pry asked the audience to not only remember the past, but the present too.
“As we remember veterans of the ‘Forgotten War,’ lest we not forget the veterans of today,” Pry said. “Those who served in war and peace in days easier for us to remember without the aid of a history book.”
Local veterans of the War of 1812 are buried in these Summit County communities: Akron (44), Bath Township (7), Boston Heights (11), Boston Township (11), Copley Township (32), Cuyahoga Falls (20), Green (5), Hudson (45), New Franklin (23), Northfield (26), Norton (14), Richfield (15), Springfield (19), Stow (28), Tallmadge (26) and Twinsburg (1).