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The Suburbanite
  • Postcard from Tuscarawas Township: Men who served

  • “Greater Love Hath No Man Than This.” The words on a veterans’ memorial, though prominently displayed in the cemetery on the corner of the main intersection in Stanwood, are not often read.

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  • “Greater Love Hath No Man Than This.”
    The words on a veterans’ memorial, though prominently displayed in the cemetery on the corner of the main intersection in Stanwood, are not often read.
    Motorists on those crossing streets — Stanwood Street SW and Alabama Avenue SW in Tuscarawas Township — most often are passing through this small community, with their sight set somewhere else. Or they are nearby residents who have seen their familiar surroundings thousands of times.
    Watching instead for oncoming traffic, it is doubtful that more than a few give the cemetery a second glance, much less look at a monument within it.
    More than 40 names appear on the memorial. At one time they were the most important men in their community.
    They were the men who answered their country’s call to fight for freedom in World War II.
    With the approach of Veterans Day on Sunday, it seems an appropriate time to remember their names.
    The list begins with Raymond Fribley, an Army man, whose gold star beside his name indicates he was killed in action. Another family member, Russell Fribley, also in the Army, is across from his sibling on the list,
    “Raymond was killed early in the war,” said Milton “Gus” Miller, who also is listed on the monument. “He never even got home after basic training, he was sent right overseas.”
    Miller and his brother, Alvin Miller, form one of several pairs of brothers on the list.
    Alvin Miller is part of the reason the memorial exists — placed at a spot where the Stanwood Community Church once sat.
    “We had a memorial there during World War II,” explained Gus Miller, who with others in the congregation moved their church across Alabama Avenue in 1954. “That memorial was made of wood and it was getting kind of rotten, so when the church was moved somebody took it down.”
    Years passed, and some of the men named on that earlier monument died. Jenny Lehman, the widow of David Lehman, operator of Lehman Awning and one of those World War II veterans, wondered if the monument could be replaced.
    “She mentioned it to my brother and he said words to the effect of, ‘We could do that,’ ” said Miller.
    Then Alvin Miller set about making a new memorial out of materials that would stand the test of time better than wood. The original monument, put up in 1943, also did not include all the names of Stanwood-area men who served during World War II, so the names of those additional veterans were included in the new memorial when it was erected a few years ago.
    A flag flies behind the memorial — a symbol of the patriotism with which each man served.
    Page 2 of 2 - In front of the monument is a bronze sundial that Miller said was placed at the end of a walkway leading to it long before the new monument existed. Now the two elements work well together to convey a message of respect.
    “We Live In Deeds,” words on the sundial say, “Not Years.”