Thursday, March 11, 2010

Admiral Ernest J. King Historical Marker

I guess I'll bring this blog series honoring Admiral Ernest J. King to a close with a look at this fine Ohio Historical Marker erected in 2003 in front of Admiral King High School. I photographed it a few Saturdays ago in February. (Click on it for a closeup view.)

Here's a link to the official Ohio Historical Society website page with the Admiral King marker so you can read both sides of its inscription. 

Since I'm pretty sure that AKHS is getting a new name (especially after reading this today), this marker may have to be moved. Hopefully the marker will be moved to a higher visibility location, perhaps along the Lorain lakefront near his birthplace.

No matter where it ends up, this marker will continue to commemorate Lorain's No. 1 son well into the future. This marker, along with the war memorial in Lakeview Park bearing his name for which he laid the cornerstone, will hopefully ensure that he is not forgotten by his hometown.


Ken said...

I fulminated at length in a comment to a previous post about my (low) opinion of anyone who would fail to honor the Admiral by changing the name of the school. After giving it a lot of thought, however, I suppose that it is tough for anyone who went to LHS or Southview to think of Admiral King, in effect, winning the crosstown rivalries for once and for all, after all of these years. Maybe Lorain really does need a new school name for a fresh start.

Is naming a school after someone a grand way to honor a true hero? A school you were going to build anyway. There, we named a school after him, we're done, that's enough. But was it? Was it really enough to begin with? Admiral King standing beside, who? Masson? Hawthorne? Whittier? Was it really such an honor to begin with? I mean, honestly, AKHS was kind of a dump even thirty years ago, built in the early sixties minimal style, which is to say, crap. Not exactly built for the ages to begin with.

Is there not a better way to honor the Admiral? The marker is good, and I did not know it was there. But what is it doing there anyway? The land was most likely a cornfield when he lived in Lorain, and if he ever came anywhere near it he was trespassing.

I have a suggestion. That little park, which I think is now called Lorain Landing Park or something like that, in the shadow of the Bascule Bridge, should be renamed for the Admiral, so close to his home, and probably one of the places that King stood looking out on the lake and decided to go to sea. It would cost no more than it would to change the sign, and to move the marker.

Of course I am down here in Texas, far away and off the scene of action. But down here in Texas, I can tell you that if you go to Fredericksburg, Texas, you might as well tell them to forget the Alamo, as to tell them to forget or dishonor the memory of Chester Nimitz. There is no high school named for him there, but there is a fine park, and his birthplace, and a fine Pacific War Museum. In fact, if you google Nimitz, you will find him very well remembered and honored around the world, more so than King, which does not seem quite right, considering he was one of King's subordinates. But Henry Fonda never played King in a major motion picture.

There's an idea, and I think a better idea to honor this great Lorainite than a school full of lousy teenagers. Charles Berry, who threw himself on a grenade, sacrificing his life to save his fellow Marines in the foxhole, and Lofton Henderson, who flew his dive-bomber into a blanket of anti-aircraft fire and a net of Japanese Fighters that meant certain death at Midway in the service of his country, are both honored and will continue to be honored as long as the bridges that bear their names last. We pipsqueaks who grew up in their shadow, and in the full blossom of the liberty that they died to preserve for us, should take off our hats everytime we cross the bridges, or someone mentions their names. Would it be too great a thing for the City of Lorain to take away the controversy, and remember this great Lorainite, by simply renaming a park, moving a marker, and perhaps starting the subscription for a statue not just with his name on it, but dedicated to him. What do you say, Lorain?

Dan Brady said...

Well said, Bro! You convinced me!

-Alan D Hopewell said...

Ken, you've got a point!