HUNTINGTON — Many communities throughout the Tri-State area have made plans to honor the nation’s veterans this month with ceremonies and other events.
While Veterans Day will be observed Monday, Nov. 11, schools and other facilities got a jump on recognizing those who have served in the armed forces. At Salt Rock Elementary School on Wednesday, students presented their annual Veterans Day program and welcomed all veterans as honored guests who were also treated to lunch.
At Milton Middle School on Thursday, Nov. 7, and Friday, Nov. 8, a Wall of Honor and Remembrance will be open for the public to view. Veterans are also welcome to refreshments in the library. At 1 p.m. Friday at Culloden Elementary School, students will present a program honoring veterans featuring retired Air Force Junior Maj. Henry R. Luke. The public is invited to these events as well.
At noon Friday, the Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center, 1540 Spring Valley Drive in Huntington, will host a parade in honor of veterans, weather permitting. In addition to representatives from the VA Medical Center, the Spring Valley High School band, some “Rosie The Riveters,” motorcycle clubs and more guests are expected to participate. The parade route will go from the VA Medical Center mental health clinic to the water tower.
Each year hundreds gather at the Veterans Memorial Arch to remember, honor and memorialize the many men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and to thank all military personnel currently serving the country, as well as their military families.
The Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District, in cooperation with the Veterans Committee for Civic Improvement (VCCI), will present the annual Veterans Day parade and ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Arch on Monday. The parade will line up at 10 a.m. at 14th Street West, traveling east on Memorial Boulevard to the Veterans Memorial Arch. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and will feature keynote speaker J. Brian Nimmo, director of Huntington’s VA Medical Center.
The ceremony also will consist of musical interludes by the Fairland High School marching band and remarks from area veterans and elected officials. Refreshments will be served by the American Legion Auxiliary, Huntington Unit 16. For more information, visit ghprd.org or contact the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District by calling 304-696-5954.
While many West Virginia communities hold single ceremonies to observe Veterans Day each year, the town of Nitro in Kanawha County will hold two this week.
The first ceremony will get underway at sunset Sunday, Nov. 10, and the second will begin at sunrise Monday. Both ceremonies will be held at the Nitro Veterans Memorial at the corner of 21st Street and 1st Avenue (W.Va. 25) in downtown Nitro.
“The city was born out of World War I, as our state was born out of the Civil War,” Nitro Mayor Dave Casebolt said. “I truly believe we need to go all out to appreciate our veterans.”
Sunday’s ceremony will start at 5 p.m. It will include the lowering of flags at the Veterans Memorial at sunset. A bugler will play retreat. The keynote speaker will be U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Christopher S. Walker, who is the assistant adjutant general and commander of the West Virginia Air National Guard.
The second ceremony will begin at 7:30 a.m. Monday. It will feature the raising of the flags at sunrise to begin Veterans Day, followed by lowering the flags to half-staff. A bugler will play reveille when the flags are raised and taps when they are lowered to half-staff.
In Louisa, Kentucky, an educational military exhibit from veterans across the Tri-State area has been set up at Sullivan University (Learning Center), 122 S. Main Cross now through Nov. 16. The display will feature biographies, pictures, non-firing weapons, medals and more, starting with the American Revolution and leading through to current conflicts.
This event is free and open to the public. Local schools and other groups and classes are encouraged to attend. To schedule a group visit, call 606-826-2971.