HICKSVILLE, Ohio (WANE) – The town of Hicksville, Ohio, home to only 3,500 people, opened a memorial this weekend some said is as beautiful as the memorials you see in Washington D.C. It’s to honor the town’s fallen, living and future veterans.
The Hicksville Veterans Memorial cost about $200,000 to create. Most of that money came from community members of Hicksville. So, when it was dedicated Saturday, the day after Veterans Day, there was a large crowd.
“It’s breathtaking,” Ethan Wilhelm said of the memorial.
“It’s magnificent,” Hicksville Mayor Diane Collins said.
It’s also been a long time coming. The Hicksville Veterans Memorial first became an idea in the making in 2012.
“We had a lot of hold-ups, but thank God people helped us out and we got through all of them,” committee member and veteran Charles Zimmerman said.
A committee was formed to put together the idea. Then, the community stepped in to make it all happen.
“The Defiance Couny Commissioners donated a large amount of money,” Collin said. “The Village of Hicksville donated about $25,000. The rest was all from the community.”
Another person helping the memorial come to fruition was high schooler Ethan Wilhelm. He donated his time to help the with project as he moves toward becoming an Eagle Scout.
“I wanted something big,” Wilhelm said. “We actually got together on a Saturday morning and passed out little pamphlets that asked for generous donations. We went door to door.”
Zimmerman said the dedication was personal. He got emotional telling NewsChannel 15 what the day meant to him.
“You wouldn’t think an 88 year old guy would still get this way. It just means everything,” Zimmerman said.
He just had one wish.
“I’m just sorry I had so many World War II friends who didn’t get to see it, but they’re up there looking down,” Zimmerman said.
The Hicksville Veterans Memorial is located at Bryan and West Arthur streets.