Next month, OLCA and ONLA will team up again for the 19th annual Grateful Embrace. It’s a local version of PLANET’s Renewal and Remembrance. The two Ohio associations gather on a Saturday to work on Dayton National Veterans Cemetery and the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio.
Last year, about 100 LCOs and contractors volunteered their Saturday to fertilize, mulch and maintain the two properties – 160 acres in all.
Here’s how an OLCA member described the experience:
To stand atop Monument Hill in Dayton and look out in every direction at over 40,000 ivory white markers, each representing a soldier, a spouse, a son or a daughter that gave of themselves the fullest measure of commitment and sacrifice is enough to bring anyone to their knees. To walk through the Memorial Trail at Rittman gives one a true understanding of the loyalty, devotion and honor that so many of the men and women whom since our infancy as a country have displayed and continue to display in guaranteeing a lasting peace and to ensure a secure future for all of us. These things, etched on our hearts and minds my friends are what bring us back year after year. I see so many of the same faces with each passing year and I know that the passion that I feel is shared by more than just myself.
The group has most of the materials donated already, but if you’ve got some spare spreaders, it’s a great event and they’d love to have you.
The event takes place the morning Saturday Nov. 10. To participate, or for more information, contact Mark Grunkemeyer firstname.lastname@example.org.