SIDNEY — Sgt. Baker, the Union soldier adorning the east side of the Monumental Building has stood watch over the local community for 120 years. He has seen it all. What stories this representative Union soldier could tell.
The Monumental Building trustees have been planning to repaint, then rededicate the icon as part of Sidney’s Bicentennial celebration. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many activity cancellations in the community. The trustees decided to move forward with the ceremony- scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m.
“As faithful as Sgt. Baker has been to our community, it just did not seem right to cancel his rededication because of the ongoing covid situation,” said Chairman Rich Wallace. “We have plenty of space and the event will be outside. Sgt. Baker deserves our respect and we intend to honor him.”
Local artist Mila Hamilton will be giving Sgt. Baker a fresh coat of paint during the week of Sept. 8, prior to the event.
The ceremony on South Ohio Avenue in front of the building will be preceded with music presented by the Ohio 73rd Regiment Band directed by John Huffman. The rededication ceremony will include remarks by guest speaker, the Honorable Donald G. Luce.
Luce served as the judge of the Sidney Municipal Court for many years and played a key role in establishing the court in the Monumental Building. Proclamations will also be read.
Those attending will be given a commemorative brass coin depicting the building and Sgt. Baker.
The Monumental Building is the most important Civil War memorial hall in Ohio, said Wallace. Erected in 1875, it was the first of its kind and served as an example for similar structures erected in Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati and other cities.
Those attending the ceremony are encouraged to wear masks and observe social distancing protocols.