By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer
BATAVIA - Patriotism is alive and thriving in Clermont County.
On Monday, county officials will commemorate Veterans Day, the establishment of the Marine Corps, and laud U.S. troops.
"This event honors the dedicated men and women who have served and continued to serve our country, preserving our freedom and all that we hold true," said Clermont Commission President Bob Proud.
Called the "Clermont County Salute to Our Military: Past, Present, and Future," the event begins at 7 p.m. at the Fastiques building at the Clermont County Fairgrounds in Owensville.
At 6:30 p.m., the brass ensemble from the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra will play a brief selection of songs.
Hosts will be Clermont Sheriff A.J. "Tim" Rodenberg Jr., along with Lance Woodward, director of the county's Veterans' Service Commission.
"This event will be both timely and relevant," Rodenberg said. "Both Veterans Day and the Marine Corps birthday will be celebrated, and our young warriors deployed in the Mideast are still fighting and dying for the cause of freedom."
The backdrop of the event will be two 8-foot by 12-foot white panels filled with signatures of well-wishers.
The panels were stationed at Meijer stores in Eastgate and Miami Township during most of October.
They contain hundreds of signatures offering praise, thanks and prayers for those who have served and continue to serve in the military.
This is just the latest in a series of projects the county has embarked on to honor veterans.
In September, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display in Union Township for four days.
And, last month, the county premiered a documentary it made of the effect the wall's visit had on local veterans.
During Monday's event, money and donated items will be collected to help troops serving in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Officials said troops are also in need of items such as: phone calling cards, powdered drink mix, automatic drip coffee, old Gameboys, CDs, DVDs, pillows, blankets, black leather gloves, and white and black socks.
Rides for seniors are available; call 536-4115.
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