Saturday, October 11, 2003

County signs off on soldiers


Clermont wall supports U.S. troops

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MIAMI TWP. - Teresa Sears stood in front of the massive white board, embossed with a subtle smoke-gray silhouette of the Statue of Liberty, looking at the blue marker in her hand.

A diminutive woman with steel-colored curls, she popped the cap off the pen with a loud snap and reached for her shopping cart an arm's length away - bracing herself as she leaned toward the board.

"The troops need to know that what they're doing matters, and that it's appreciated," she said Thursday, signing Clermont County's Wall of Words.

The traveling display is part of a county-sponsored initiative to offer support, gratitude and praise for troops serving in the U.S. military.

The 8-foot-by-12-foot display can be signed in the cafe seating area of the produce section at the Meijer store on Ohio 28.

Sears remembers what it was like having family in a remote part of the world serving their country.

Her husband, Lee, served in World War II, and her son, Gary, served in Vietnam.

Both men returned home safely, but the Miami Township woman has never forgotten what it was like to be without them - or what it was like to offer support while they served their country.

The Wall of Words will remain at the Miami Township store until Oct. 22, and then be moved to the Meijer store on Eastgate Drive in Union Township until Nov. 10.

"In the aftermath of 9-11-01, we need to keep the spirit of patriotism alive and let the world know that we will never forget," said Clermont County Commission President Bob Proud.

On Nov. 10, the display will be the focal point of a countywide celebration in honor of Veterans' Day.

It will begin at 7 p.m. at the Clermont County Fairgrounds in Owensville.

"I'm telling my son about this," Sears said. "He'll appreciate it. When he came back from Vietnam, things weren't so good. He'll like this a lot."

E-mail mmccain@enquirer.com




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