Dating as far back as the late 1800’s, there has been a desire to create a memorial building to honor the soldiers of our County. By 1906, the first Franklin County Veterans Memorial opened at Memorial Hall, located at 280 E. Broad Street in Columbus.
Memorial Hall served as a veterans memorial until the 1950’s when the current Franklin County Veterans Memorial facility at 300 West Broad Street was built. It is now known more for the local and national meetings and events it hosts than as a memorial for veterans or the location of the County’s Veterans Service Commission offices, which provide advice and assistance to veterans, active duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States, and their dependents.
With a desire to refocus on honoring and serving the thousands of veterans who call Franklin County home, the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission (FCVSC) has accepted the County Commissioners offer to relocate the delivery of veterans services to the site of the County’s first veterans memorial at Memorial Hall. The move will take place in Fall 2014.
“We are very happy that the Veterans Service Commission has accepted our offer to return to the County’s original Veterans Memorial at our historic Memorial Hall. This decision will save the Commission over $250,000 annually, and will allow them to expand and enhance their service offerings. Taking care of our veterans and their families is the best way to honor their service and their sacrifice,” said Board President Marilyn Brown.
FCVSC serves over 24,000 local military veterans, active duty personnel and their families at five locations in Franklin County. Recognizing that the need for services continues to grow among the County’s veterans and their families, Commissioners approved a 5.4-percent increase in the 2014 Budget for the Veterans Service Commission to address the increased demand for food vouchers, dental health care, housing assistance, utility payments and medical transportation for Franklin County veterans.
Memorial Hall provides parking, is easily accessible and is centrally located, all items veterans who contacted the Commissioners’ offices expressed as important components to be included moving forward. Returning the FCVSC headquarters will make it even easier for veterans and their families to access services.
“The restoration of Veterans Services at the historic Franklin County Memorial Hall on East Broad Street will serve our veterans and their families well. The building's beauty and comfort and easy parking are well deserved amenities. This move honors Franklin County's generations of veterans, and offers hope to our current veterans, as they seek to obtain the benefits due to them in accord with their service to our Nation,” said Commissioner Paula Brooks.
The relocation of these entities will make it possible for the Board to advance important community economic development efforts on the Scioto Peninsula, for which Commissioners, along with veterans, community stakeholders, the Mayor of Columbus and representatives from the Ohio Governor’s office expressed support for in August 2013.
“This is a true win-win for the veterans of Franklin County, and our residents who share in our appreciation for their service and sacrifice,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “The current Veterans Memorial site will be redeveloped to appropriately honor veterans, educate our children about their service and sacrifice, while acting as a catalyst for revitalization of the Scioto Peninsula. And Memorial Hall will be a great place to meet the growing needs of our veterans and their families in a newly-renovated and larger office space.”
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