The nearly completed mural of Old Glory on the outdoor eastern wall of Pickerington's American Legion Post 283 is an indelible reminder of the sacrifices made by the men and women in uniform who served America.

The nearly completed mural of Old Glory on the outdoor eastern wall of Pickerington's American Legion Post 283 is an indelible reminder of the sacrifices made by the men and women in uniform who served America.

A collective of dedicated art students from Pickerington High School North donated both their time and talents to a project organizer Jan Shore said should aptly honor those who served.

"They submitted their proposal for the mural in February and the Legion Board approved (the design) but we didn't start on it until the weather cleared," Shore said.

She said most of the students had already graduated May 21 but that didn't deter them from showing up to engage in the painstaking work of ensuring the mural is properly completed according to specifications.

"We had three or four (paint) everyday this week," Shore said. "They're doing an awesome job.

"Several of the students are going to art schools,"she said. "They are incredibly talented and are incredibly good kids," she said.

Shore said students who participated in the mural project were Rebecca Arp, Sarah Arp, Diamond Garrett, Morgan McDonald, Kylee Saksa, Matti Wenger, Taylor Wilson and Hannah Wheeler.

What was once a blank canvas now will be adorned with an enduring symbol signifying why those sacrifices were, and continue to be, made every day.

"It means a lot," said Rick Donovan, David Johnston Memorial Post 283 commander.

"I rode up the other and thought 'wow that is beautiful!' " he said. "These students know what they are doing."

Donovan commended Shore for her work in putting the project together.

"She was the one that brought it to us," Donovan said.

"They made a presentation and we said 'go for it.' "

The bulk of the work on the flag mural was completed in time for Memorial Day weekend, a solemn tradition for all military organizations, but one particularly close to the hearts of Post 283.

That's because the Post's namesake, David Johnston, is celebrated annually on Memorial Day as are his fellow Marines from Mike Company 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Regiment, 1st Marine Division who traveled from throughout the country to celebrate and honor the memory of Johnston and others who gave the ultimate sacrifice on the field of battle.

Johnston, a Pickerington High School graduate, was killed in action March 3, 1969, in Quang Nam Province in the Republic of South Vietnam. He was awarded a bronze star posthumously.

Donovan said Post 283 also recognized Cpl. Dustin Derga of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division and Lance Cpl. Terry Parsons, 3rd Battalian, 5th Marine Division, in a ceremony at Glen Rest Cemetery in Reynoldsburg.

As for the mural, Donovan said he looks forward to having the project completed with the names of fellow veterans and members of Post 283 who served however, Legion members haven't quite decided how to properly configure all the names into the mural. He said the mural will serve as a long-lasting tribute for all of the members and even for area residents.

"This is going to be the talk of Pickerington," Donovan said.