Local push to create U.S. Peace Monument

2:47 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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JEFFERSON, Ohio -- More than 10 years ago, a peace mission was formed with the mission to create a monument out of melted criminal weapons that law enforcement officials collected. The final product, the Peace Fountain, was unveiled in Northern Ireland.

Now, the Ashtabula County Sheriff and a former deputy are continuing the charge to collect criminal and discarded weapons so they can make a peace monument for the United States.

Sheriff William Johnson and Dr. Michael Whitely (now a professor) are reaching out to law enforcement officials across the country to gauge their interest in joining their peace monument mission.

"In the wake of so much tragedy in the U.S. due to gun violence, we must make this stand as law enforcement officers for the safety of our nation," Johnson says.

The firearms collected will then be melted down and fashioned into a peace monument that will be erected at a yet-to-be-determined location in the U.S.

The symbolic ingots from the nationwide collection are being stored at an undisclosed location in Ohio awaiting their final transformation from weapons of destruction to symbolic monument.

The final destination of the USA Peace Monument is in its early planning stages, but to date, seven cities have expressed an interest in providing a home for the monument -- primarily on the east coast with one bid coming from a Midwestern location.

Any law enforcement agencies or private citizens wishing to be a part of the gun-meltdown mission should contact Sheriff Johnson at 440-576-9046 or via e-mail at sheriff@ashtabulacounty.us. Dr. Michael Whitely can be reached at the IMI office at 440-354-9981 or by e-mail at mwhitely@kent.edu.

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