The memorial forest is adjacent to Mohican State Park. Today, the shrine also honors all Ohioans who lost their lives in conflicts since World War II.
(The Memorial Shrine has been the subject of two then-and-now posts on this blog – one for the building, and one featuring its sign.)
The 1947 dedication ceremony was previewed on the front page of the Lorain Journal on Saturday, April 26, 1947.
****KING TO SPEAK
Lorain’s Admiral Talks at
Many Lorainites are expected to attend the dedication ceremonies for the Ohio Memorial forest tomorrow at which Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J. King is to be guest speaker.
Sponsored by the Ohio Federation of Women’s clubs, with which the Lorain Federation of Women’s societies is affiliated, the forest will be a living tribute to all Ohio men and women who died in the war.
The forest is located on state route 97, three miles south of Loudonville.
The dedication is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p. m. Other speakers include Major Gen. Curtiss Lemay, a native Ohioan, and Gov. Thomas J. Herbert.
****And here’s the Journal’s coverage of the dedication, which appeared in the paper on Monday, April 28, 1947.
****Simple Rites Mark
Dedication of Forest
16,800 Ohioans Who Gave Lives in World War II
Honored at Loudonville Ceremonies
By WILLIAM ASHBOLT
LOUDONVILLE – It was a quiet, simple ceremony – just as they would have wanted it.
The 16,800 Ohio war dead being honored here yesterday by the dedication of a state forest and shrine would have been proud of the simplicity of the affair and the living, enduring memorial dedicated to their memory.
A few representatives of what the men would have called army and navy “brass,” among them Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J. King, were there to dedicate to their memories the Ohio memorial forest and shrine. A crowd of more than 1,000 stood shivering during the outdoor ceremonies, amidst a constant downpour.
Cold, rainy day
It was raining and the day was cold, but “Perhaps it’s just as well,” in the words of Mrs. L. L. Kinsey of Akron, planner of the memorial, “that today we feel the rain and cold and walk in mud reminding us of the hardships our men endured.”
During ceremonies dedicating the 3,500-acre memorial forest near here, donated to the state by the Ohio Federation of Women’s clubs, Major Gen. Curtis LeMay of Lakewood, army air forces deputy chief of air, asserted those honoring the men who died in World War II should ask: “Will their sons have to die, too?”
The former director of the B-29 bombing raids on Japan asserted the reply to the question “depends on us. If we follow the course we followed after World War I, the course we are beginning to follow again today, if we disarm and dissipate our military strength, the answer is ‘yes.’”
Accepting the forest as a state shrine, Gov. Thomas J. Herbert said the memorial “must also be a constant reminder that we shall not be discharged from our obligation to them until the objectives for which they fought and died have been achieved.”
Admiral King concluded the ceremony with the prayer, “May God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, grant that these dead shall not have died in vain.”
Mrs. Kinsey, chairman of the state conservation department of the federation, said the shrine was an “all-Ohio product, built with the hearts and hands of the men who worked on it.”
O. A. Alderman, state forester, predicted that a million trees would be planted on the idle land of the forest and added that 70,000 already had been planted this spring.
The shrine is located at the Mohican state forest entrance on Route 97 near here and houses a great book containing the names of all Ohio men and women who made the supreme sacrifice during World War II, including 219 Lorainites.
Two hundred acres of the tract will be preserved as a nature sanctuary where the normal growth of trees, plants, animals and birds will be unmolested. The balance of the memorial forest will be devoted to timber production and for research in soils, water and wildlife and for demonstration in good forestry practice under supervision of the Ohio division of forestry.