PAULDING – The John Paulding VFW Post #587 has announced a new veterans memorial that will be established in the village. The monument will face the corner of US127 and Caroline Street and is designed to honor all veterans and branches of the military. The main monument is the centerpiece of the memorial that features three towering granite pillars and a life size bronze eagle.  There will be six granite memorials honoring the service branches of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force. It will then have two additional memorials honoring Gold Star Families and Combat Wounded Veterans, along with a bronze battle cross memorial and three commercial grade flagpoles holding the flag of the United States of America, the Ohio State flag, and the Prisoner of War flag.

The memorial will be built at 220 N. Williams Street, facing northeast, so it will be viewed by passing cars going south on US127. This is the current site of the former Church of Christ and more recently Faith Alive Church building.

The Paulding VFW team has invested extensive time in sharing insight and aesthetic goals for the monument, working with Homier Monumental in Defiance, Ohio, in designing a plan that was recently revealed to the public.

VFW Post #587 Commander John Daeger stated, “Our post members wanted to give the Paulding community a memorial that would provide suitable recognition of their citizens who served in the military.  The proposal, provided by Homier’s Monumental, exceeded everyone’s expectations.  Upon our first review, we were awestruck.  It took a while for us to fully absorb all the unique features of the veterans memorial.  Once completed, the memorial will be a prominent feature of downtown Paulding and something for our future generations to respect and cherish.”


The site of the memorial was made in part by many collaborative discussions prior to the VFW team involvement. Paulding County Economic Development Director Tim Copsey shared, “The PCED office was tasked with trying to find a building for a new church organization that has grown in the Paulding village some time ago. We talked with the owner of this church building and scheduled some walk though visits. We brought in church members and then contractors to see what it would take to rehab the structure to a clean and safe environment. The deeper we looked the more we found that needed to be remediated, to the point that no one could afford the purchase and investment and still see a return on investment.”


The largest remediation issues, pointed out by two different contractors, included: roof, ceiling, HVAC, and lead paint issues, in addition to a heavy black mold presence in the basement area. It was at this point ownership was interested in working with the Paulding County Land Reutilization Corporation (Land Bank) to see what options were available.

“Once it was agreed there was not going to be an investment into the building, and the Land Bank was asked to get involved. They provided the necessary funding for the demolition and removal of the church structure. However, the Land Bank was not interested in taking on this project just to tear down a building and have another empty lot in town. The Land Bank wanted to have a purposeful and positive end use for this site. The timing of the VFW team asking about available sites in the village could not have come at a better time.” Copsey continued.

The Paulding VFW team had been working on their own for quite some time discussing different options and sizes for memorials. The catch continually seemed to be where the memorial(s) would be located. A casual inquiry from Jon Snodgrass with Copsey, and a follow up conversation by VFW committee member John Daeger led to final discussion about the pending opportunity to place the memorial on this site.

Daeger shared, “In the initial stages of our project, our post members spent hours searching Paulding for locations for the veteran’s memorial without success.  Just when we were about ready to terminate the project, we were contacted by Tim Copsey who inquired if we would be interested in the church property.  It only took us a couple heartbeats to respond yes, and to request additional information.  Since our first meeting with the Land Bank, Paulding County Area Foundation (PCAF) and the Paulding Fraternal Order of Eagles, the VFW has been totally overwhelmed by the level of support and interest of everyone we spoke with.  What started as a dream, has now turned into something that is very achievable.”

There are many incredible individuals and various entities working toward the end goal of a meaningful and beautiful memorial. Included in that is the Village of Paulding. Through initial design drawings and revisions, the village has been instrumental in discussing pieces of sidewalk development and potential upgrade of the adjoining city owned parking lot to the south of this site.

“The Village of Paulding is very excited about the new Veterans Memorial. We believe it’s a wonderful project that will honor those who have served our country worldwide, and also in remembrance of those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.”  Commented Village of Paulding Mayor Greg White.

Fundraising for the project has already begun. In yet further collaboration, the Paulding Fraternal Order of Eagles has made a significant initial donation to kick off the $250,000+ fundraising needed for the project. PCAF will be the fundraising collection point for the project. There are many achievable levels of donation including “in-kind” donations.  If you would like to make a monetary donation you can send them to PCAF at 101 E. Perry Street Paulding Attn: Cardinal Park Veterans Memorial.  For additional questions or involvement contact John Daeger.