To the Editor:
Following is a tribute (the price for protecting) to Lance Corporal Terry Wright:
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011. The village of Malvern put flags along both sides of SR 43/183 from the west corporation limit to the east limit of town.
Wednesday, Sept. 28/ About 11 a.m., a caravan with the body of Lance Cpl. Wright came through Malvern from the Akron-Canton Airport going to Carrollton for the funeral services (to be held Friday, Sept. 30). In honor of Lance Cpl. Wright, the town of Malvern shut down industry, business and schools and residents from the town and surrounding areas lined the highway to pay their final respects to this fallen hero. Even the 150 Patriot Guard motorcycle in the caravan could not believe the overwhelming turnout for this fallen soldier. Did this happen by accident? Was it word of mouth only? Did some key organization orchestrate the turnout?
Thursday, Sept. 29. Carroll County Commissioners received a proclamation from Governor Kasich ordering all U.S. and state flags in Carroll County (public buildings and grounds) at half staff from sunrise to sunset for this soldier’s funeral. It wasn’t done.
Sometime around the first of October, I called the commissioners office and asked if commissioners had a plan for military funerals. I was told a commissioner would call me. Three weeks later I called the office again and was told by a secretary a commissioners and the EMA Director had discussed the problem. After two phone calls later to the EMA office, I was told by the director he felt his office could not do the notifications fast enough. He felt the sheriff’s office was better equipped than his office.
Between the Christmas and New Year holidays, I talked to a commissioner in person. He was not aware of a problem or of any plans if another military funeral came along. I was told to call him at the office which I did. I read the Governor’s proclamation to him. Our conversation ended with him going to discuss my question with our county officials. Do you have a plan?
In late January, I called a third commissioner at his office. Same story. To this day, nothing more has happened in response to my question about a unified notification system for honoring fallen soldiers.
Back in October or early November I had a three-way conference call with Stark County Administrator Hanke and Commissioner Bernabei on the same issue. Do you have a plan?
Three days later, Stark County called me wanting to know who to call in Minerva when the next military funeral happened. I told them City Hall.
I’d like to add, to my sorrow, a week later, a 24-year-old lady officer from Marlington High School was buried. Stark County’s system worked in notifying Minerva (note: Minerva encompasses three counties).
I’m aware the commissioners are busy with pressing economic matters affecting our citizens and businesses. But when the next soldier’s funeral in our area happens, it would be nice to honor this hero and his/her family with a unified response in tribute. Let’s not leave it to chance.
Carroll County Resident