West Side News

Hannon Battle Cross Memorial

Fallen soldier honored by Eagle Scout project

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Brandon Weber at the Nov. 9 dedication of the Army Master Sgt. Shawn Hannon Memorial in Henceroth Park, 2075 Mallow Lane. Weber shepherded construction of the Battlefield Cross memorial to the Grove City soldier killed in Afghanistan as his Eagle Scout project.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

For his Eagle Scout project, Brandon Weber started with an idea just over a year ago.

"It became a plan on paper," said the Grove City High School junior, of Boy Scout Troop 136. "Now, it's standing up."

On Saturday Nov. 9, the Master Sgt. Shawn T. Hannon Battle Cross Memorial was officially dedicated at Henceroth Park, 2075 Mallow Lane. The bronze statue is adjacent to the Lance Cpl. Eric J. Bernholtz Memorial Flag Pole.

Hannon, 44, of Grove City, was among three central Ohio soldiers killed by a suicide bomber April 4, 2012, in the Faryab Province in northern Afghanistan.

A 1986 graduate of Grove City High School, Hannon had been a soldier for 20 years at the time of his death and was chief legal counsel for the Ohio Department of Veteran Affairs.

"I'm so happy to see all of you," Hannon's mother Diana Hannon Forrester said at the public ceremony dedicating the memorial Saturday.

"I want to thank the community for helping us share the burden of Shawn's loss. ... He was a fun kid to have, and I'm grateful he was mine."

Weber said he didn't know Hannon before he embarked on the project. But throughout the process -- which involved meeting with Hannon's family, working with the city and other organizations and collecting donations -- he learned all about Hannon's life, what he believed and how he defended freedom.

"I really wanted to take it on and do it," Weber said of the project. "It's special."

Troop 136 Scoutmaster Kirk Bohanan said Eagle Scout projects are intended for the scouts to develop leadership skills, but they receive a lot of support from the community.

"We live in a community that's very wonderful to live in and is very giving," Bohanan said. "It's people like Shawn who give us the opportunity to do this. ... (The monument) will be here for a long time for the family and community."

The event also featured a presentation of the colors by Troop 136 and a performance of Taps and gun salute by American Legion Post Paschall Post 164.

Weber, 17, is the son of Bill and Julie Weber.