David Joseph Belock was an honored and decorated WWII Army veteran. He was a modest and humble man who rarely spoke of his military accomplishments. During the war he was stationed in Foggia, Italy, and worked as a radio operator on a B-52 bomber. During his time in the Army he flew 26 bombing missions. Before several of the missions, the members of his battalion were told by commanding officers that they probably would not return from their mission. On three different missions his plane was shot down and forced to attempt an emergency landing. He lived through them all.

David Joseph Belock was an honored and decorated WWII Army veteran. He was a modest and humble man who rarely spoke of his military accomplishments. During the war he was stationed in Foggia, Italy, and worked as a radio operator on a B-52 bomber. During his time in the Army he flew 26 bombing missions. Before several of the missions, the members of his battalion were told by commanding officers that they probably would not return from their mission. On three different missions his plane was shot down and forced to attempt an emergency landing. He lived through them all.

Belock was one of the few survivors of his battalion; most were killed in action. When he returned from the war, he married Joyce Fanoni and obtained a degree in engineering. He passed away May 18, 2006, at age 83.

"They flew the planes and took orders for the love of their country," said Belock's daughter-in-law, Lori Belock, a Dublin resident. "I am very proud of him and all the veterans for what they did and continue to do for our country."

Veterans such as David Joseph Belock help us remember why we have the freedom we do today and why we should appreciate and remember those who are serving or have served in the armed forces. To help accomplish this, the city of Dublin has created the Dedication Stone Program in the Grounds of Remembrance, which allows those in the community to dedicate something personal to the project. The program allows those who choose to donate the opportunity to express their personal memories, appreciation and recognition of both veterans and those currently serving in the United States military.

Lori Belock was one of the first to purchase a dedication stone for the Grounds of Remembrance in the Dublin Veterans Park. She purchased it for her late father-in-law.

"We purchased a stone to have a place to remember such a great man," said Belock. "I truly mean great. He was a wonderful friend, father, husband, grandpa and soldier."

Individuals who purchase a dedication stone have two options for what will be written on them. The first option is to have an individual veteran's name, rank, branch and years of service etched on the stone. The second option is to have a general expression of gratitude or support placed on the stone.

"My husband and I hike Indian Run Falls four times a week with our two children," Belock said. "We think the memorial is a wonderful idea and cannot wait for it to be finished."

The stones are 4-by-12 inches, with three lines consisting of a maximum of 22 half-inch tall characters per line. The cost of each stone is $300, with proceeds going toward the development of the park. To download a Dedication Stone Program brochure and participation form, visit www.dublin.oh.us/veterans.

Fred Hahn is Dublin's director of parks and open space.

Fred

Hahn