Marion, Ohio has a rich history. From the inception of Marion Power Shovel Company to educational achievements and economic development success, we have much to celebrate.
Dick McDaniel, a United States Navy veteran and longtime resident, agrees. That’s why his veterans’ organization is spearheading the creation of a mural that will pay homage to Marion County residents who served in the Korean War — often known as “The Forgotten War”.
“This was an idea from the Korean Chapter of the United States Military 136,” shared McDaniel. “We previously installed a mural spotlighting The Vietnam War and it received much praise from the community, so we contacted the County Commissioners about adding another.”
According to McDaniel, the piece is meant to educate passerbys of The Korean War, as well as honor those who served. The mural will showcase actual portraits of Marion County residents who dedicated their lives; a full-scale drawing of a local veteran; and paintings of military machinery, soldiers and medical personnel on the front lines.
McDaniel knew exactly who to call for artistic support. William Obenour, an artist born and raised in Marion, is known for his work throughout the community — from his teachings at local school districts to colorful paintings in downtown businesses.
After receiving approval to move forward with the project, McDaniel made the ask. And, Obenour jumped at the opportunity to showcase a piece of resident history. In line with the goal of the veterans’ organization, he hopes to create a piece that inspires reflection and gratitude.
“I want to make this a destination for the Marion community as a place to commemorate those who dedicated their lives,” said Obenour. “It’s also a healing piece that will allow veterans to remember their bravery while honoring comrades lost.”
Upon completion in 2021, the mural will be on display in Marion County’s Administration Building on the wall nearest to the Engineering Auditor and Treasury Department. Obenour hopes to unveil the finished mural in May followed by a dedication ceremony in June.
Whether emotion-evoking or educational, McDaniel believes Obenour’s mural will serve as both a reminder of the community’s rich history and hope for the future.
“It’s more than just a painting on a wall — this mural will reinforce the significance of The Korean War and create a lasting memory of those who served,” declared McDaniel.
To learn more about the project, click here.