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Plaza Honors Those Who Gave Lives While in Military

“What is a Veteran?” was the topic of talk given by C. William Harris, the long-time post commander of Cameron American Legion No. 18, at the dedication ceremony of the new Veterans Plaza on the lawn of Marshall County Courthouse in Moundsville this past Wednesday.

Some 300 individuals were present to view the five granite slabs with 462 names.

The slabs were put in place to honor of the Marshall County residents who lost their lives while serving our great country.

The plaza also includes a new fountain, along with four small monuments. .

Harris paid tribute to, “the recognition of our veterans — men and women — who throughout history have set aside the civilian pursuits to serve our nation’s cause — the defense of freedom. Veterans being a word that symbolizes fulfillment of the highest obligation of citizenship.”

The World War II Navy veteran continued, “They (the veterans) have followed war mules through Flanders fields, landing barges onto the beaches of Normandy, faced terrors of Pork Chop Hill, rice paddies of Mekong Delta and the sands of the Persian Gulf. All veterans share a common bond — brotherhood of memory and hard-won wisdom.”

“A veteran is a man of peace, slow to anger, quick to realize that those who talk most about glory of war are those who know the least about its horror. He never jokes about war. He knows first-hand that no war is good and that the only thing worse than war is slavery,” Harris stated.

He also referred to a veteran who is proud of America’s past, alert to America’s present and confident of America’s future.

Harris also described a veteran as being a man grown a little taller. He is an American with an honorable discharge. He is democracy with a good conduct medal tucked away in darkness of his keepsake box. He is freedom with a Purple Heart — America’s most honorable citizen … .a person who understands the awesome price of life’s in tangibles. His motto is to live and let live. But, if he had to, if he had to choose between servitude and conflict, the veteran would once again answer the call to duty, because above all else, a veteran is an American.

Harris said, “On becoming active in the American Legion in 1946, my mission was not to receive recognition, but to serve other veterans, their widows and orphans.” He concluded with: “J.F.K in his inaugural address said, and I quote, ‘It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ I will paraphrase for this occasion — this dedication today is what we have done for Marshall County veterans to preserve our freedoms.”

Those receiving special thanks for their efforts on behalf of the Veterans Plaza were Robert Blazer, Harris, Michael Kuzma, Joseph Parriott, James Stultz, John Gruzinskas, Betty Frohnapfel and Thomas James, The Thrasher Group and general contractor Jarvis, Downing & Emch.

Danielle Harmon, an Air Force veteran, sang the National Anthem and the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Commissioner Gruzinskas in his opening remarks stated that a request for the Marshall County Commission to consider the plaza was first brought before the commissioners more than a decade ago by Parriott, a U.S. Navy veteran. Parriott had previously spent hundreds of hours doing research at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library to learn of veterans who had died, but were only listed in newspaper articles.

As the result of the Veterans Plaza, a book is being published about the 462 individuals whose names are on the five plaza slabs.

Tom James, like Parriott, has spent numerous hours gathering information not only locally, but also by contacting military sites, and other sources to obtain information.l

One page has been devoted to each person listed in the book.

James said the book will be available soon. He said, “It has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to put the book together.”

The book’s title is, “Honored Patriots of Marshall County.”

The latest issue of the American Legion magazine listed some information about Veterans Day.

Veterans Day does not have an apostrophe. According to the magazine, “A lot of people think it’s Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day, but they are incorrect. The holiday is not a day that belongs to one veteran or multiple veterans, which is what an apostrophe implies. It’s a day for honoring all veterans, so no apostrophe is needed.”

Also, Veterans Day is not the same as Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a time to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in battle, while Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war and peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

For a brief time, Veterans Day was the fourth Monday in October. However, on Oct. 25, 1971, the first Veterans Day under the new bill was observed, though many states chose to continue to recognize the day in November. Within a few years it became apparent that most Americans wanted to observe Veterans Day on Nov. 11, a day of historic significance. So on Sept. 21 1975, then-President Gerald Ford signed Public Law 94-9, which returned Veterans Day to its original date starting in 1978.

This year’s Veterans Day in Moundsville will take place at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 in the gymnasium at Central Elementary School.

Bob Blazer, a member of American Legion Post’s Sons of the American Legion, is in charge of arrangements, including scheduling a speaker.

Moundsville Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary No. 437 is currently holding its annual membership drive. To be eligible for membership, a person must have a family member who served in a foreign war (spouses, grandparents, children). Anyone over the age of 16, male or female, is eligible for membership.

The VFW, which has been around for more than 100 years, is one of the top 10 providers of volunteer hours in the VA medical system. All members do a fundraiser every year for projects that benefit veterans and their families.

The VFW provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships for the nation’s youth. The VFW supports the local Caring Tree for children at Christmas, members send holiday boxes to West Virginia Veteran Homes, they donate school items to the National Home for Children and donate monthly to the Children’s Home, and also to the Helping Heroes in Moundsville.

The auxiliary is in the process of collecting non-perishable canned goods for holiday baskets. Anyone wishing to donate can drop items off at the VFW Post Home or they may mail a check in care of VFW Auxiliary No. 437.

The auxiliary meets the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m.

Twelve Moundsville Middle School band students have been chosen to participate at the Northern Region 1 Honor Band Festival

Each student submitted a video playing their required music and scales

The festival will be held at the John Marshall High School Performing Arts Center Centre. This coming Saturday, band students from Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties will spend the day rehearsing for a concert. The performance is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m.

The MMS performers include Dulaney Anderson, Dylan Cox, Annadra Dudley, Alexis Gunn, Hudson Markwas, Lauren Rice, Marra Tharp, Jude Thomas, Madelyn Thompson, Curtis Whorton, Jesse Whitecotton, and Megan Williams.

The Dungeon of Horrors at the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville will wrap up for another year this weekend — the weekend in this case being Thursday (which is Halloween), Friday and Saturday nights.

Again this year there will also be two other attractions, Kids Night on Monday, and Family Night on Tuesday.

From 6-8 p.m., on Monday, Kids Night will be observed for youngsters and their parents. It will take place in the Training Center building (North Wagon Gate entrance off of Eighth Street). There will be a $5 charge for youngsters while adults will be free. The ages for the youngsters being up to 7 years.

During the event, there will be drawings for prizes to include both a boy’s bike and a girl’s bike

Family Night will take place from 6-8 p.m., on Tuesday. Those participating, 7 years of age and older, will have an opportunity to participate in a smaller version of the Dungeon of Horrors (Haunted House). Entrance to this event will be from the Jefferson Avenue side of the penitentiary. The admission will be $5 per person.

Admissions from the two latter events will go to local charities.

Jumping from Halloween to Christmas, a representative from the Salvation Army in Moundsville will be accepting applications for food and toys at Christmas time in Tyler County, Monday through Friday.

Family members can sign up at the Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department, the hours being 9 a.m.. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The person doing the sign-ups is to bring a picture ID, proof of all income in the household, proof of expenses (bills), birth certificates/medical cards, and proof of guardianship.

The Salvation Army is also taking applications for bell ringers in Moundsville and New Martinsville. Anyone with questions can call 304-845-9510.

A public meeting of the West Virginia University/Marshall County Extension Service will take place beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the extension office, 126 Barn Drive on Middle Grave Creek Road, Moundsville.

A number of items are on the agenda, including a programming presentation from all departments.

The WVU/Marshall County Extension is a service provided cooperatively by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, West Virginia University, the Marshall County Commission, and the Marshall County Board of Education.

The board consists of committee presidents of the county 4-H leader’s association, Farm Bureau, and CEOS organizations, one county commissioner, one member of the board of education, and three at-large members appointed by the West Virginia University Board of Governors.

The Marshall County Fall Dumpster Clean-Up will conclude on Saturday in the Roberts Ridge area and the Sherrard area.

Dumpsters will be at the Roberts Ridge VFD Headquarters and at Hilltop Elementary School, both from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

There will be no provisions at either location to accept tires, white goods, scrap metal, car parts, fuels, hazardous chemicals/materials, or household trash.

These two locations will bring to seven the number of sites where residents in Marshall County could dispose of unwanted items.

The Marshall County Solid Waste Authority has been responsible for arranging for the dumpsters, while the Marshall County Commission provided the money.

The women of the First Christian Church, McMechen, will be having a country store from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., on Saturday. It will include a lunch to be served from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The event, to be held at the church at 30 Fourth St., will also include a bake sale, white elephant table, jewelry, brooms, books, and rada products. Vegetable and bean soup will be sold by the quart and can be ordered by calling 304-233-5607.

St. Jude Catholic Church in Glen Dale will hold a fish fry from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., Friday at the church.

Eat-in or takeouts will be available.

Call 304-845-2646 for local delivery ordered by 10 a.m., for lunch and by 3 p.m. for evening.

Reminders of the upcoming “Scouting For Food” campaign were distributed this past week.

The Scouts will be going door-to-door this coming Saturday picking up food items, these being either canned goods or non-perishable items in a bag and set on a person’s front step

All food collected will go to local food pantries.

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