The Veterans Memorial Plaza on the south side of the Livingston County Courthouse now includes a black granite bench that has been dedicated in honor and in memory of all military veterans.
The bench was the Eagle Scout project of Dalton Ripley, who planned, organized, led and managed the project from the initial concept to its dedication on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019.
"I chose the bench for my Eagle Scout project as a token of my appreciation for all military veterans – past, present and future," Ripley said during the dedication ceremony. "The bench will be a permanent and continuous reminder of the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our country to protect our freedoms."
Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in Boy Scouts. The Eagle Scout must demonstrate Scout spirit, an ideal attitude based on the Scout Oath and Law, service and leadership.
In his remarks to those gathered for the dedication ceremony, Ripley extended appreciation to the Livingston County Commission for working with him and allowing him to place the bench on the courthouse grounds, and to the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars for permitting the placement of the bench adjacent to the Veterans Memorial.
He also expressed appreciation for all those who donated or helped in any way to make this project possible.
Engraved on the front of the bench are the words "All Gave Some, Some Gave All". The back of the bench is engraved with Ripley's name and information about his Eagle Scout project.
Funds remaining after expenses for the bench were met were presented to the Livingston County Veterans Association. Joe Carter, Commander of the American Legion, accepted the check on behalf of LIVCOVA.
As part of the dedication ceremony, military veteran Tim Munday, who has supported the Boy Scout program as a Scout leader, spoke to those gathered.
"It is with great pleasure that we are here today to celebrate in the dedication of this bench to the Livingston County Veterans Memorial here at the Livingston County Courthouse," Munday said. "Not only did Dalton “just do” this project as a requirement so he could earn his Eagle rank and badge, but mostly to honor all veterans – past, present, and future."
"On behalf of Vern R. Glick Post No. 25 of the American Legion and Roy L. Burkett Post No. 858 of the Veterans Of Foreign Wars, as well as all Livingston County veterans, we are humble and in awe of not only the beauty of the bench, but the placement of it as it faces the other monuments causing anyone who sits here to be able to reminisce of the great sacrifices our veterans and their families gave to our beloved country."
Munday provided information about the history of the Boy Scout organization and stated that the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have a long-lasting relationship with the Boy Scouts of America, dating back to the early 1900s. Both of these veteran organizations have supported the Boy Scouts by helping these youth through being chartering organizations, providing monetary donations, and through public service, Munday said.
"In doing so, they hope to help them to become great men and leaders of their communities, great men and leaders of their families, great men and leaders to all Americans," Munday said.
"So today, we see another example of how the Boy Scouts of America has given back to the community by this great memorial addition by Dalton," Munday said. "His endless labor to see that it has been completed and honored to all Livingston County veterans is a testament to his character, loyalty, and dedication, not only to the Boy Scouts of America, but to his family, his community, his country, his fellow man, and his friend…the veteran."
Several Boy Scouts attended the veterans bench dedication. The program also included the Pledge of Allegiance led by Eric Turner, leader of Boy Scout Troop 120.
Ripley is a member of Boy Scout Troop 120. He is a junior at Chillicothe High School and the son of Steve and Cathy Ripley.