NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Springfield Local High School student paid tribute to veterans by building a new war memorial at the entrance of the football stadium.
Sebastian Orbin, a junior, built the memorial for his Eagle Scout project. It’s complete with a podium, memorial bricks and flag markers.
“It came out actually looking better than I hoped it would,” he said.
The idea originated with the marble WWI and WWII memorial that once stood outside the old elementary school, which is now demolished.
“I knew that the elementary school was going to be torn down, so I approached the superintendent, Tom Yazvac, to see what he wanted to do…He told me it’s school property, it was donated to them years and years ago, and he wanted it out of there.”
Orbin had the memorial moved and placed near the flag pole at the stadium. A new memorial that Springfield Township could be proud of would cost $6,000.
“Then he started speaking at different churches, civic groups, social groups, and garnering more support that way,” said Jeff Orbin, his father.
Orbin raised the money by selling memorial bricks. The response from the community was so great, that some people had to be turned away.
He and his fellow scouts imprinted them over the course of two 12-hour days.
Putting the old memorial into place required a concrete pad and crane. Then the bricks had to be arranged.
“The bricks were the most difficult part because you have to get them perfectly aligned and place the sand in between each of them,” Orbin said.
All of the names on the bricks are those of veterans, including Orbin’s great-grandfather. Every U.S. war, besides the Civil War, is represented. There is also a tribute to Orbin for his hard work.
The new memorial will be used for the first time on Monday morning.
“That’s going to be the debut for the community, so I’m expecting everyone to be there since it’ll be the first time they’ll get to see their brick.”
New Middletown will have a parade along SR 170 from the old elementary school to the high school, starting at 9:30 on Memorial Day. A ceremony at the stadium will follow.