Veterans Honored At Pocahontas And Highland County Events On Veterans Day
Marlinton, WV and Monterey, VA – On Veterans Day, the communities of Highland and Pocahontas counties honored service members of the past and present at a variety of events.
In Marlinton, Army veteran and mayor Joe Smith hosted a ceremony at Mountain View Cemetery to honor veterans. Smith told the crowd that Mountain View Cemetery has the highest percentage of veterans interred than any other cemetery in the state. The mayor thanked cemetery manager Kenneth Faulknier and volunteer Frank Gravely, who place U.S. flags on the hundreds of veterans’ graves in the cemetery on every patriotic holiday.
Smith introduced Veterans of Foreign Wars local post commander Honor Delaney, who told the crowd that veterans should be remembered every day, not just on special holidays.
“The right time to honor our heroes is now and every day of our lives,” he said. “When in living our busy lives, we can always take time out of our busy day to stop and think of military heroes. A military hero does not stand out in a crowd. They are the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom. So, let me re-emphasize that the right time to honor our military heroes is now.”
The Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps fired a three-volley salute to conclude the ceremony.
At noon, the Honor Corps hosted a veterans dinner at the Dunmore Community Center. All vets and their families enjoyed a complimentary meal of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw and a variety of home-cooked delicacies.
In Monterey, local students held a rally at the high school to honor troops. Following the rally, the school marching band led the student body on a parade to the veterans memorial at the Highland County courthouse. One float featured students portraying Marines raising the colors on Mount Suribachi during World War II.
At the courthouse, the Stonewall Ruritan Club hosted a veterans memorial service. Retired Army veteran and school board member Jim Blagg recited the names of dozens of Highland County citizens who fought in conflicts from the War of 1812 to the present.
Blagg says people should not fail to respect veterans, whether or not they support a particular war.
“On Veterans Day, whether we agree with a particular war, that the U.S. Has been involved in, or whether we agree with a conflict or police action, or whatever else – we should all be able to agree that those that served in the armed forces should get our respect and our honor, regardless of what we feel about the conflict or war.”
Following the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day a holiday on November 11, 1919. President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law in 1954, which made the day a holiday to honor all veterans.
Almost 25 million men and women have served in the United State’s armed forces since the country declared independence in 1776.