This article ran in its entirety on Cincinnati.com and was written by Amanda Van Benschoten
ALEXANDRIA – The stone pillars at the entrance to Bob Miller Stadium at Campbell County Middle School are weathered and faded.
Generations of students and football fans have walked past them. But few ever noticed what was inscribed on them – until one evening last fall, when Noah Sell and his dad, Kevin, happened upon the pillars while waiting for his brother's basketball practice to end.
What they found came as a surprise: the pillars don't just mark the entrance to the stadium; they're actually a monument to the Campbell County High School graduates who lost their lives in World War II.
"When I was in middle school, kids always sat on these big concrete posts, and I never really knew what they were," said Noah Sell, 16. "If kids knew what they were, they wouldn't be sitting on them."
On the inside of each pillar is a tarnished bronze plaque, nearly three feet high and a foot wide, and inscribed with the names of the fallen soldiers. But time (and wear and tear from students) has taken a toll on both the plaques and the pillars.
So Noah decided they should be restored, and his dad helped him develop a business plan to make it happen.
The teen is now raising money to clean and restore the stone pillars, and also to refurbish the plaques and move them to a more prominent spot on the front of each pillar. The cost is an estimated $6,000 for the stone and bronze work.
"Those pillars always caught my eye, but I didn't know there was anything on them," said Kevin Sell. "The pillars are in disrepair, and people don't really look at something that's falling apart. They probably just wonder when the school's going to get rid of them."
Now the school has granted Noah Sell permission to restore them.
It isn't an Eagle Scout project, and the Campbell County High School sophomore isn't getting any class credit. But the project struck a nerve with the teen, whose grandfathers served in WWII and who plans to apply to military academies himself.
He reached out to the local VFW Post 3205 in Alexandria to sponsor the restoration, and all contributions are tax-deductible.
The Sells aren't sure how old the monument is or how it came to be there, and neither is the local VFW Post 3205. Both parties are hoping someone comes forward with more information about the monument's origins.
Depending on how quickly he can raise the money, Noah Sell hopes to finish the project by July 4. If he can raise a little more than the $6,000 project cost, he hopes to help the VFW hold a rededication ceremony.
Want to help?
Contributions are tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to "WWII Memorial-VFW Post 3205" and mailed to Noah Sell-WWII Memorial, 9301 Royal Oak Dr., Alexandria, Ky. 41001.
The VFW will hold the money in a restricted fund until the full $6,000 is raised; only then will the restoration begin. Local stonemasons and bronze experts are expected to perform the work.
For more information, call Kevin Sell at 859-743-6363.