City officials and family of World War II Veteran Jim “Pee Wee” Martin are working to build a statue in his honor.
Martin was a para-trooper in the 101st Airborne Division. He fought on D-Day in Nazi occupied France.
He died at 101 years old on Sept. 11.
The statue is planned to be located at the corner of Feedwire Road and Upper Bellbrook Road as part of Sugarcreek Township’s Veterans Memorial, according to Township Administrator Barry Tiffany.
Tiffany said that Martin originally declined the idea of a statue honoring him.
“When Mr. Martin was approached about a statue of him being built, he respectfully declined at first, as he felt it inappropriate. He later agreed as the artist constructing the statue agreed to include the names of his comrades who died jumping into Normandy on D-Day,” Tiffany said.
The statue will be built in Martin’s likeness, in his military uniform with gear he would have worn on the battlefield during WWII. It will stand at around 8 to 10 feet tall.
Tiffany said the township is honored that Martin called Sugarcreek home and his impact on the community will not be forgotten.
“Mr. Martin chose our community to locate and hand build his home after returning home from the war. He was very active in local government and at the state level over the past eight decades, and our community was and is better for it,” Tiffany said.
The statue is being funded privately through donations and sponsorships collected by Martin’s granddaughter Jodi Martin.
Construction on the township’s memorial is expected to begin this spring, if not sooner, Tiffany said.
The date of when Martin’s statue could be completed is not known.