Avon Lake Councilman John Shondel’s plans to acknowledge two unknown seamen buried in Avon Lake Cemetery comes to fruition this weekend with a ceremony that will include a permanent stone marker.
On Sunday, Sept. 8, the public is invited to the historic occasion at 2 p.m. almost 200 years to the day when two men were buried on the shores of Lake Erie following a battle on the lake.
The story behind the marker dates back to the Battle of Lake Erie on Sept. 10, 1813 which took place on the waters near Put-in-Bay.
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (of Perry’s Monument) led the United States Navy to victory. His fleet of nine ships seized six British ships under the direction of Commander Robert Barclay.
The battle was significant, as it resulted in the United States securing Lake Erie waters for the duration of the War of 1812.
Casualties in that battle were 27 Americans killed and 96 wounded and 41 British soldiers killed and 94 wounded.
According to legend, two of the two of the 68 seamen who perished later washed up on the shore and were buried in what is now Avon Lake Cemetery. Those two individuals names, nationalities and ranks were never recorded and will most likely remain unknown.
The 2 p.m. ceremony will include a welcome by Larry Meiners, the Master of Ceremonies, an invocation by Post 211 Chaplain Jake Lundy and a historical perspective by Gerry Vogel, the president of the Avon Lake Historical Society. State Representative Matt Lundy and Shondel and Council President Marty O’Donnell will also offer comments.
Shondel has been raising funds for the plaque.
The plaque has been inscribed with the following:
"THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO TWO SEAMEN WHO PERISHED DURING THE BATTLE OF LAKE ERIE, SEPTEMBER 10, 1813 AND, ACCORDING TO LEGEND, ARE BURIED IN THESE GROUNDS. THEIR NAMES, RANK, AND CITIZENRY ARE KNOWN ONLY TO GOD. MAY THEY REST IN PEACE."
Shondel has led the effort to raise $800 for the memorial.
The event sponsored by American Legion Post 211 and the Avon Lake Historical Society.