We recently recognized Veterans Day. It marks a time when we honor the true heroes that are the men and women in uniform. For every major conflict in which the United States has been involved, Ohioans have bravely answered the call to duty. Ohio’s sons and daughters have served honorably. Some have paid the ultimate price to protect the freedoms we enjoy.
In 2008, looking for a way to honor this great sacrifice, the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill to establish the Ohio Military Medal of Distinction. This honor is posthumously awarded to fallen soldiers in recognition of their courage, dedication and sacrifice. Members of the Ohio General Assembly awarded this medal to over 200 Ohioans who have lost their lives since Sept. 11, 2001 fighting bravely and selflessly for our country. I once again attended the most recent ceremony held in Columbus the Thursday following Veteran’s Day.
The Ohio Military Medal of Distinction features a gold star replicated from the gold star service flag, which has been displayed in the homes of fallen service members since World War I. Each point on the star represents the five branches of service in which Ohio’s men and women serve. The wreath of laurel signifies the most honorable endeavor of the fallen service member. The colors of red, white and blue are symbolic of the United States flag and the State of Ohio Burgee.
As many of us will be celebrating a festive season surrounded by family and loved ones, I thought it important to reflect on the gift of service fellow Ohioans have given their state and country.
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