Elder 11 will never be forgotten

Elder 11 dedication patch

Elder 11 dedication patch

The Elder 11 were a group of young men who risked their lives for this country and now are being honored by the Elder community and state of Ohio.

Governor John Kasich passed House Bill 373 which states that a section of Glenway Avenue from Beech to Gilsey will now be called the “Elder High School Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway”. This is to honor  those 11 brave men who fought for our country.

In doing so they plan on changing the name of the fallen soldier on the sign every 6-12 months. By doing this their lives will never be forgotten.

Lou Terhar, a state representative got the ball rolling on this. Terhar is an Elder grad of 1967. The signs will go at the top of Panther Court and go all the way to the end of the Schaeper Center lot right before it hits Seton.

This is really hitting home with some of our own faculty including our very own Mr. Otten. He was good friends with many of these guys.

“It’s long overdue. A lot of my classmates need to that we are a grateful nation and thank them for all they did,”  said Otten.

He told me that it was not a very popular war among people in the United States. So people didn’t pay attention to those who had died.

I talked to Rich Dickman over the phone this past week, a great guy from the class of 1966. He is one of the men who had the idea of getting this started and it has taking off. The reason behind it was simple.

“One, Vietnam Vets didn’t get the welcome home they need and deserved,”  said Dickman.

He said Commander Leonard Frederick Vogt, Jr was the first member of the Elder 11 to die in combat and therefore will be the first to be honored.

I asked him what he needed to do to get it started and the whole process started.

“I first needed the permission of the families to see if we could do it. John Hughes who was friends with Terhar, had the bill drafted. It was passed unanimously here in Cincinnati, and then it passed on to the Senate where it passed unanimously,” said Dickman. “We had to wait roughly 60-90 days for the bill to go into effect.”

He said it’s always good to wear the E pin on your lapel, because it can work wonders. He later said that Hank Mueller was the inspiration to all those men and all those who were friends with him. He was hit by a mortar 33 days into combat. He had to relearn so much, and has made incredible gains. Hank was here during the Vietnam Memorial Mass back in 2013.

These men had courage like no others and I applaud them for it. Its men like them who make this school so special. They have made today’s men of Elder so proud.

They deserve all the praise they can get. The Elder 11 are true heroes.

Elder’s sentiments can be summed up by Mr. Brian Bill.

“These guys stuck through thick and thin, having each other’s backs. Their memory will leave for ever,” said Bill.  “The classmates of these men now will realize that their lives and acts will never be forgotten.”

Tradition truly never graduates.

The actual ceremony will take place on Saturday September 20th, at 10 A.M. All are welcome.