CENTER LINE

It was a great weekend for everybody in the Firelands. From graduations to beautiful Memorial Day services Monday, it was a time not only to look ahead, but also to remember.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

It was a great weekend for everybody in the Firelands.

From graduations to beautiful Memorial Day services Monday, it was a time not only to look ahead, but also to remember.

Huron County Commissioner Mike Adelman spoke at Monday's service in Norwalk and talked about what the day meant to him.

"Without question, the hero that meant so much in my life was my father, Alvin Adelman. He was a World War II Army paratrooper, pathfinder and combat soldier in the 517th Parachute Infantry," the younger Adelman said. "He was wounded twice during action in Italy and France, awarded a Bronze Star and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

"By the grace of God he survived and came home to raise a family right here in Huron County, and helped in building this great country as part of what is deservingly called the greatest generation.

"Dad passed away nearly four years ago and I miss him a lot. I have no doubt that no matter what I do, I could never work as hard or sacrifice as much as my father did. And even though through my eyes he was a hero, he would be the first to say that the real heroes were the ones that didn't come home. The heroes that we honor today."

St. Paul senior Rob Whithurst also spoke at the ceremony.

"Sometimes we take the freedoms we have for granted, but on a day such as today we can properly pay tribute to the men and women who fight to earn those freedoms," Whitehurst said.

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A job well done. It's taken about $100,000 and countless hours of volunteer work, but the Huron County Veterans Memorial on Shady Lane Drive in Norwalk is finally completed.

A dedication ceremony took place Sunday afternoon, and a new stone was added to the memorial for those who have died in the war on terrorism.

Norwalk Police Officer Dave Ditz, a veteran of the war on terrorism, was the speaker. Ditz and his wife recently returned from tours of duty in Iraq.

Bonny and Dave Ballard came up with the idea for the memorial years ago, and following Monday's Memorial Day service they were able to take a deep breath, sit back and relax.

"It was good considering the weather," said Bonny, who has always been quick to point out they received help from many others. "It was amazing. At 1 o'clock the rain just stopped. It was a nice ceremony."

She said that, while the project is complete, the work isn't done.

"We've got to maintain it ... hopefully we won't have to add any more names to the stone."

To date, the only Huron County resident lost in the war is Monroeville resident Jason Sparks, a U.S. Army soldier who was killed in action in Iraq.

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Local Master Gardeners and other volunteers took to the street Saturday to plant flowers in Uptown Norwalk.

Mayor Sue Lesch and Main Street Norwalk invited community members to honor loved ones who have died during the past year with a prayer service and flower planting.

A good number of people turned out.

"We got it done," said Master Gardener Judy Emmons. "It looks a lot better."

Between the flowers and the new American flags, Main Street Norwalk really is something to be proud of.

* * *

Congratulations to all area graduates.

The busy graduation season began with three this weekend EHOVE Friday and St. Paul and South Central Sunday.

Plymouth graduates Friday, while Norwalk, Edison, Monroeville, Western Reserve, New London and Willard wrap things up on our own "Super Sunday."

A special tip of the mortar board to Karla Bickley and everybody in the Reflector production department for another great graduation tab. This special section takes months of planning and work and despite a computer crash when everything was lost they pulled it off.

This is the one time of the year when all of our high school graduates can take a bow for a job well done.

And on a personal note, I want to congratulate our daughter, Ryan, who graduated Sunday from St. Paul High School. She is our third and final daughter daddy's little girl. We love you.