In Veteran’s Park in Port Clinton 12,500 bricks make up the Veteran’s Memorial Parkway; nearly 1300 of those bricks are engraved to honor and/or remember those who have served our country. The brick walkway was dedicated on November 11, 2001 in Veteran’s Park, a park that was first built in the 1930s to honor those fighting and who have fought for the freedom of our country.
Walking under the beautifully crafted Veteran’s Park arch facing north towards the lake, the brick walkway lays before you. The bricks in the front of the walkway honor those who were part of the Bataan Death March. The last survivor, Joseph Hrupcho, is honored in the center. Still facing north, to the left of the howitzer are past commanders of The American Legion, to the right are past commanders of the VFW.
“There will never be a locator map for the bricks,” said Ernie Hopkins, committee member for the maintenance and organization of Veteran’s Park. “We want to always be able to move and group together bricks.”
Family, friends and those who served together are often grouped together on the walkway.
A group of three bricks that are connected are near and dear to Hopkins. Hopkins’ brick is next to his best friend, Allan Fultz, and they are both next to Jessie Hall. Hall saved Hopkins from a landmine in Vietnam. “He saved my life,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins knows first-hand the importance of honoring those who have served and those that are serving.
“What do you get a grandfather for his birthday or Christmas,” said Hopkins. “A guy can only have so many socks, get him a brick commemorating his service to his country.”
Bricks can be purchased for $50 and include three lines of words. Forms are located on the brick paver info box at the park or they can also be found at Lakeland Auto. Hopkins encourages those who would like to get a brick for Veterans Day to order now to ensure they will be ready.