NORTH BEND, Ohio - The life of President William Henry Harrison was celebrated in a wreath laying ceremony at his memorial site in North Bend, Ohio, Feb. 7, 2014.
Members of the local community, civic patriots, history enthusiasts, elected officials, and students of the local high school began the event with a half-mile procession from the North Bend Municipal Building to Harrison's final resting place on a hilltop overlooking the Ohio River.
Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Karen LeDoux, commanding general of the 88th Regional Support Command, joined in the ceremony on behalf of President Barrack Obama and laid a wreath in his stead.
LeDoux gave tribute to Harrison who spent the majority of his life shaping the country before ever taking office.
Harrison, whose father was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, served his country in the Northwest Territory as an Army Officer, negotiator, congressional delegate, governor and senator.
As a Soldier, he fought in various conflicts against American-Indian and British forces, later earning the status of war-hero for his actions in the Battle of Tippecanoe. He went on to become commander of the Army of the Northwest during the War of 1812 and scored victories which ultimately brought stability to the region.
At age 68, Harrison was elected the 9th President of the U.S. and died of pneumonia only four weeks after his inauguration.
"We take great pride in remembering and celebrating the vast contributions that are attributed to President Harrison," said Douglas Sammons, the Mayor of North Bend.
According to Sammons, Harrison embodies the American spirit and the ceremony pays tribute to all those who have helped shape and secure our nation.
"Some say we do this to remember one man, but I say we do it to remember why we are the United States," said Sammons.
Bev Meyers, president of the Harrison/Symmes Memorial Foundation and organizer of the ceremony, said the ceremony traditionally takes place on a Saturday, but was held on Friday this year to accommodate participation from students of Tyler High School.
The motion to incorporate the students was made last year by Retired Brig. Gen. Alton Berry, and will continue due to its great success, said Meyers.
Addressing the students directly during the ceremony, LeDoux hailed Harrison as an inspiration for all of us to achieve more.
"He was the son of one of the Founding Fathers of our nation, and as such he was one of the aristocracies of Virginia," said LeDoux. "He could have lived his life in the shadow of his father and lived in the comforts of Virginia, but instead he chose to make his own way and become engaged and involved in the future of our nation."
Harrison made the choice to serve his country and be involved with the world around him, said LeDoux.
"You too like Harrison have a choice," challenged LeDoux. "How will you engage and how will you make a difference in the course of history?"
Additional photos from the event can be viewed at: www.flickr.com/photos/88rsc/sets/72157640660107434/