Story by SGT Rachel Grothe on 02/13/2019A procession of generations, from Revolutionary War uniform-clad reenactors to modern 20th century teenagers, marched through the Village of North Bend, Ohio, from the town hall to the hilltop tomb of President William Henry Harrison Feb. 1, for a wreath laying ceremony in honor of his 246th birthday.
The speakers at the ceremony, attended by more than 100 people, expounded on President Harrison's achievements before his 31 days in office.
"He really did lead a very remarkable life," said U.S. Congressman Steve Chabot., "Because his time in office was so short, he's been an afterthought, and too often forgotten in American history. To be fair, you have to look at his whole life, and his whole career, and he was a very important figure for Ohio and Indiana."
Before President Harrison took office, he dedicated his 68 years to civil and military service, holding a variety of offices from United States Minister to then Gran Columbia, to U.S. Senator, and as the first Governor of the Indiana territory.
Brig. Gen. Tony L. Wright, 88th Readiness Division deputy commanding general, representing President Donald J. Trump, laid the last of three wreaths presented in front of the former president's monument during the day's ceremony, after the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Sons of the American Revolution both laid theirs. Additionally, flags were presented by the Knights of Columbus and Veterans of Foreign Wars that will be flown at the memorial.
"He chose a life of service to his frontier neighbors instead of service to self," Wright said, of the late president, born into a well-connected Virginia family.
Wright, who grew up in Ohio, remarked on the ripple effects Harrison's life-work had on the people in territory he served and called home.
"He helped cultivate the American dream by convincing Congress to make land more affordable by selling smaller tracts of lands for two dollars an acre. Even today, many of us are here because our great middle states were an affordable place for our ancestors to build and raise their families," he said.
Village Mayor Doug Sammons reminded everyone of their civic duties, focusing on the Taylor High School band members in attendance, "The founders of this country made significant sacrifices in order for this country to exist. If we are to remain a strong and prosperous country, we must adhere to the principles of our country that allows for the citizens of our country to have the opportunity to seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."