Residents Gather to Honor Military Tradition, Sacrifice

Residents throughout Marshall County reflected on the sacrifices of America’s military during several Memorial Day services Monday morning.

The initial service took place in McMechen, where a brief event was held at a monument in front of Center McMechen Elementary School that began with a 21-gun salute given by members of the Blake Brothers American Legion Post No. 46, the sounding of taps, and a prayer by the Rev. Glen Baker.

This was followed by a parade to the McMechen Cemetery where Marshall County Assessor Chris Kessler spoke about the United States military’s long record of standing guard against its enemies. From poorly armed militia units willing themselves to victory over the world’s most powerful military force in the Revolution, to soldiers surviving the swamps and jungles of Vietnam only to face criticism and derision upon their return home, to today’s military standing up against terrorism both at home and around the world, America and its foes have changed, Kessler said.

“But one thing is certain, as Hitler, the leaders of the communist world, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden all eventually found out, and which has been proven throughout this nation’s history – they will hunt you down and fight, because they believe,” he said.

“As we gather here today on this Memorial Day, 2013, as millions of others will do throughout our nation, the first thoughts in our minds must always be to honor those who have served their country, shed their blood, and sacrificed their lives during unprecedented battlefield triumphs that our country has fought so hard to achieve over the past 240 years. But also let us never forget the grief, sacrifice, and painful sense of loss that many of you standing here today surely felt with the loss of a loved one. Yet we gather here today to honor our fallen countrymen-not for their sake alone, but for our own. We choose to remember the past because to forget sacrifice, service, duty and many times injury and death by heroic men and women would be to forget the lessons of history.”

The McMechen service was held by Mountain Knapp American Legion Post No. 5. A service in Moundsville was moved indoors because of inclement weather, with the Central Elementary School gymnasium filled to near capacity.

Representatives from several military and other organizations laid flowers on a table. Members of both Cub Scout Pack No. 78, and Troop No. 78 members also took part in the service.

The service concluded with the Post Everlasting Service, and a 21-gun salute and taps by members of the Moundsville Veterans Honor Guard.