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NEWS | Feb. 14, 2018

A place in history, honoring President William Henry Harrison’s 245th Birthday

By Catherine Carroll

A procession of Soldiers and service members past and present, along with local officials and citizens in 18th century uniforms and attire, marched through the Village of North Bend, Ohio, to the tomb of William Henry Harrison, Feb. 9, to honor our 9th President's 245th birthday.

 Major Gen. Patrick Reinert, 88th Readiness Division commanding general, walked side-by-side with Doug Sammons, mayor of the Village of North Bend, and presented a wreath at Harrison’s monument on behalf of President Donald J. Trump.

“I thank you for the opportunity to commemorate the life and contributions of this remarkable man from Ohio,” Reinert said during his speech. “President William Henry Harrison was a life-long public servant whose selfless service and dedication continues to be an inspiration to all Americans.

“At the age of sixty-eight, William Henry Harrison was elected President of the United States of America. A remarkable accomplishment in itself, but an extraordinary example of Harrison’s life-long dedication to serving his Nation,” Reinert continued. “He will be remembered for this dedication to selfless public service above all else.”

In his inaugural address on March 4, 1841, Harrison stated, “Called from a retirement which I had supposed was to continue for the residue of my life to fill the chief executive office of this great and free nation, I appear before you, fellow-citizens, to take the oaths which the Constitution prescribes. You will bear with you to your homes the remembrance of the pledge I have this day given to discharge all the high duties of my exalted station according to the best of my ability.”

Shortly after his inauguration, President Harrison passed away.

 Reinert went on to say Harrison’s time in office may have been brief, but his road to the White House and his accomplishments along the way were nothing short of astounding.

 Sammons, who also spoke at the ceremony, explained why North Bend continues to recognize Harrison to this day.

“Remembering our history, and our presidents, is very important for the people who live in this area. We have four generals and two presidents from the Village of North Bend,” Sammons said.

 Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States, was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio. He came from a prominent Virginia family and was the grandson of President William Henry Harrison.

 After the event, Reinert, along with the mayor and several Vietnam veterans who also attended the ceremony, visited Three Rivers Educational Campus and spoke with students from Taylor Middle School about the importance of honoring our 9th President. Reinert also shared his experiences as a U.S. Army Reserve general and answered questions from the students.

 Sammons recently moved the wreath laying ceremony from Saturday to Friday in an effort to include local schools in the event.

“This was the hub of the founding of the northwest territory of the state of Ohio after the American Revolution,” Sammons said. “There is a lot of history here and it is important to pass it on to the younger generations.

“This event has taught me a lot about the history of this area and its people, as well. There is a lot of tie in to the founding of our country. William Henry Harrison’s father was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution still participate in this event.

“We are very proud that one of the forty-five president’s final resting place is here, in the Village of North Bend. This is my seventh year as master of ceremonies of this event and I’m grateful to be given the honor.”

Reinert expressed his gratitude for being a long standing part of this historical event and his esteem for the legacy of our 9th president.

“The 88th Readiness Division is proud to be a part of honoring our past presidents on behalf of the White House. Thank you to the great people of the Village of North Bend, Ohio. President Harrison will be remembered for this dedication to selfless public service above all else. He was truly a man of the people and for the people.”

The Village of North Bend’s officials and citizens said they are already looking forward to next year’s event and are privileged to remember, and honor, President William Henry Harrison’s place in history.