On November 11, 1918, an armistice took effect during World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, and Veterans Day was born. We continue to observe that day each year to give thanks to those who have fought for our country.
Forty-six of the 156 Ohio Supreme Court justices have military service in their backgrounds. The first chief judge, Return Jonathan Meigs, won distinction during the Revolutionary War, and eight other justices fought in the War of 1812: Jessup Couch, Samuel Huntington, Peter Hitchcock, Charles Sherman, Henry Brush, Reuben Wood, George Tod, and Gustave Swan.
Five justices volunteered for the Union cause during the Civil War: John Corwin, Thaddeus Minshall, Joseph Bradbury, John Shauk, and William Davis.
One justice, Edward Matthias, served in the Spanish-American War of 1898.
The 11 World War I veterans are Coleman Avery, Benson Hough, Charles Zimmerman, Roy Williams, Robert Gorman, Gilbert Bettman, Robert Sohngen, Henry Middleton, Howard Bevis, Thomas Herbert, and Paul Herbert.
Twelve justices served in World War II: Kingsley Taft, John Peck, C. William O’Neill, Paul Brown, James J.P. Corrigan, Robert Leach, Frank Celebrezze, Asher Sweeney, Robert Holmes, Lloyd Brown, Louis Schneider Jr., and Clifford Brown.
Seven justices served in the military in the decades since World War II: Robert Duncan, David Dowd Jr., James Celebrezze, Andy Douglas, Craig Wright, Herbert Brown, and Francis Sweeney.
The latest edition of CNO Review features an interview with current Justice William O’Neill, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War. You can read the article and see his video interview at http://www.courtnewsohio.gov/happening/2013/veterans_110513.asp.
All U.S. military veterans who have served and sacrificed for their country will be honored on November 11 as the nation observes Veterans Day. We are proud to include our justices among them.