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‘I Always Want To Remember’: Memorial Day Service in Wheeling Honors the Fallen

The American Legion Post 1 Color Guard marches with flags during the Memorial Day ceremony held Monday in Wheeling

WHEELING — A lot of sentiments can be expressed as to why it is important to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for the country.

But until one hears “taps” being softly played on a bugle while a red, white and blue-flowered wreath floats down the Ohio River, only then does it really hit home.

Members of the American Legion Post 1 and others held this annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday at Heritage Port in Wheeling.

Though it was closed to the public, a couple dozen people showed up to pay their respects and remember the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country in times of war and peace.

Steve Habursky, a Wheeling resident who served in Vietnam with the United States Marine Corps, was the featured speaker for the event. He pulled out a white piece of paper that contained the names of the 49 men killed in his platoon during the 13 months he was at war.

“I carry in my car every day a list of the people who were KIA on that day. I carry it because I always want to remember that they sacrificed their life for me and for everybody here,” Habursky said. “They are the true heroes of this world we know today.”

Habursky enlisted when he was 17 years old. While serving he was wounded twice — once by gunfire and later by a grenade. He received two Purple Hearts because of this. His other medals include Good Conduct Medal, Silver Star and the Bronze Star.

Habursky is a retired Wheeling police officer. He and his wife Trudy have one daughter and two grandchildren.

Other attendees and speakers included Chuck Hood, vice commander of American Legion Post 1, who served as emcee of the event; Larry Bloomfield of Post 1 who served as chaplain; Post 1 Color Guard members Bob Joseph, Sam McKendre, J.J. Jackson, John Bolner, Michael Novotney, Joe Fatigati and Zach Witcherly; John Nanny, commandant of the Marine Corps League Detachment 771; Dimetrious Lathom, commander of American Legion Post 89; Vernon Anderson, commander of West Virginia Veterans of Foreign Wars; and Post 1 Adjutant Keith Brown played “taps.”

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