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Young Marine Abby Smith, a Beechwood sophomore, made it her mission to honor veteran Edward Ahrens

Young Marine Abby Smith, 15, of Ft. Mitchell and a sophomore at Beechwood High School, is ready to complete her self-imposed mission to properly honor a local American Hero, PFC Edward H. Ahrens USMC KIA.

Ahrens, a Marine from Dayton, was assigned to the 1st Raider Battalion mere months after enlisting in February of 1942.

During his first deployment, and less than 24 hours after arriving on the island of Tulagi, Ahrens single-handedly fought off a contingent of Japanese soldiers who attempted to infiltrate his battalion in a nocturnal attack. At just 22, he succumbed to his wounds after halting the enemy charge. For his bravery and ultimate sacrifice, PFC Ahrens was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, one of the military’s highest honors.

Ahrens was laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate, however his humble headstone makes no mention of his heroism.

After being told of his story by a member of “Charging Forward for America,” Abby made it her mission to honor Ahrens’ valor. 

YM/MGySgt Smith decided to raise funds and create a bronze plaque that shares the story of Ahrens, so that others would know of his sacrifice.

Due to the incredible generosity of others, especially John R. Little VFW Post 3186, she raised enough money to accomplish her goal. With the help of Unit Commander Lynne Arnold, the design was created and production of the plaque has been completed. The new memorial marker will be erected near Ahrens’s grave to denote and pay tribute to this local hero. 

The plaque, produced by veteran-owned Rolf Monument Company, will be dedicated on Sunday, March 24 near the grave of PFC Ahrens in Evergreen Cemetery at 1:00 pm with some of the hero’s family members in attendance.

The public is invited to join in honoring this hero. 

RSVP to the Facebook event here.

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