‘London Fallen Veterans Memorial Post Office’

By Jane Beathard

June 17, 2014

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to re-name London’s post office, located at 25 S. Oak St., for all local residents killed in the nation’s conflicts.

Legislation to name the London Fallen Veterans Memorial Post Office passed by voice vote, according to a spokesperson for Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Upper Arlington). Stivers represents Madison County as part of Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.

The resolution now moves on to the U.S. Senate for approval.

“This is a small measure Congress can take to honor the lives of all the brave service members from London and Madison County who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms,” Stivers said.

Stivers’ original resolution sought to name the post office in memory of Lance Corporal Josh McDaniels, who died fighting in Afghanistan in 2011. But the proposed Lance Corporal Joshua B. McDaniels and Veterans Memorial Post Office Building drew protests from other veterans and military survivors who felt slighted by memorial efforts that singled McDaniels.

“While working on legislation to honor Josh, I especially heard a loud voice from Vietnam veterans and their families because their sacrifices have not been recognized,” Stivers said.

According to a press release from Stivers, London resident Mary Henry recommended an amendment to the original resolution, making it more inclusive. The McDaniels family agreed to the change.

In a call to The Press on Monday, Brent McDaniels again emphasized that he never requested a post office memorial to his son. McDaniels said he simply asked Stivers to designate and sign a portion of Interstate 70 in memory of the young Marine. Similar memorial signs dot federal highways across the country.

“I decided to right a wrong and recognize all those that have given the last full measure of devotion in Madison County’s proud history of military service,” Stivers said. “This way we can properly honor the sacrifice of all our veterans, whether they served in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan or some future conflict.”

In the meantime, plans by the Downtown London Association to designate a portion of West High Street as a Veterans Memorial Drive are moving forward, according to businessman and DLA member Pat Closser.

“We’ve raised enough money,” Closser said.

DLA members are working with state Rep. Bob Hackett (R-London) to obtain the names of all London residents killed in battle. Madison County’s Veterans Affairs Office was unable to provide a list, Closser said.

Closser said those honored will include casualties of all the country’s wars “as far back as records go.”

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1616 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.