by Mark R. Potter
Cuyahoga Falls -- "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." -- That dedication is painted on the wall in the municipal building's hallway honoring two of the city's native sons lost in battle.
Around 20 people crowded around in the building's utility billing hallway June 14 to witness the dedication of the mural memorializing Army Sgt. Bryan Large and Marine Sgt. Justin Walsh, who both died from injuries sustained in Iraq.
The mural features framed photos of the uniformed men upon the wall, which is adorned with a painted American flag and Eagle -- a design picked out by both of the men's families.
"We feel the sympathy that all of you do for the loss," said Mayor Don Robart to the soldiers'' friends and family in attendance. "I think it's appropriate that today is Flag Day."
Although Bryan's father, Larry, said his son would have considered the dedication unnecessary because he would have thought he was just doing his job, he said it helps his family nonetheless.
"He would've said 'what's this all about?' But at the same time, I'm sure he would have been honored," Larry said. "It helps everybody in our family. It's part of the healing process."
Justin's father, Jim Walsh, said he hopes the mural helps passers-by remember those who serve.
"I hope [the mural] helps people realize what these young men and women have given their lives for ... our freedom," Jim said.
The mural was painted in 16 hours by Cindy Selzer of Peninsula, who finished just before Memorial Day.
Sgt. Large was killed in action on Oct. 3, 2005, in Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq. Sgt. Walsh died Oct. 11, 2006, from injuries suffered in Iraq Oct. 5.
Both were Cuyahoga Falls High School graduates and Falls natives.
Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3154