Soldier monument dedication set for Sunday at Dawson-Bryant

September 28, 2018
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This bronze statue of an American student soldier will stand in front of Dawson-Bryant High School to honor Homer Dawson and Curtis Bryant of Coal Grove, American soldiers who were killed in World War I and who are the school's namesakes.

COAL GROVE — A century ago, Homer Dawson and Curtis Bryant of Coal Grove, American soldiers fighting in World War I, were killed.

The school district has raised some $54,000 to erect a bronze statue of an American soldier in front of the library at the Coal Grove school named in honor of those two soldiers. Dawson was the first Ohio soldier killed in World War I.

“We’ve been raising money for this for four or five years,” said Dawson-Bryant High School principal Dean Mader. “This has been a big community effort. The school district paid for part of it.”

Some 20 high school students went to Zanesville, Ohio, last spring to meet with famed Ohio sculptor Alan Cottrill, who gave the school system a 75 percent break on the project.

Abigail Bloomfield, 16, a Dawson-Bryant junior, first got involved with the project in a freshman art class. She worked on the molds for a helmet that will be used in the project. She helped design the helmet of an American soldier in the Vietnam War.

“It took three months to make the mold,” Bloomfield said. She decided to work on that helmet because her grandfather, Meredith Bloomfield, served in the Vietnam War.

“The trip was awesome,” she said. “We saw multiple soldiers outside. A lot of effort went into this.”

The bronze statute and helmets from American wars since the 1770s are scheduled to arrive in Coal Grove today, Thursday, Sept. 27.

The statue will be dedicated at a ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday at the school, Mader said. Col. Scott Vanderhoof, a 1979 Dawson-Bryant graduate, will be the main speaker.

Landscaping will be done Friday prior to the weekend ceremony, Mader said.

The high school already has a plaque honoring Justin B. Allen, a Dawson-Bryant graduate and an Army Ranger, killed July 18, 2010.

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