Veterans and residents gathered Wednesday at the Gold Star Memorial at Spencer’s Landing in Vienna as part of the city’s annual Veterans Day celebration.
The ceremony began at noon with the prayer presented by the Rev. Father George Nedeff and Mason Lotton from Wolfe Pack Den 3, Cub Scouts Pack 20, Wayside United Methodist, led the pledge of allegiance.
“Please remember all of the men and women that have served through all the years as veterans and thank you again. For everyone that’s here, if you see a veteran today, please thank them for their service. God bless and have a good day,” Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp said.
Rapp also recognized World War II veteran Junior Linch, Vietnam veteran Rick Raab and Cathy Smith, representing her father, for their service to those in attendance.
Jerry Smith from Wood County Detachment 1087 Marine Corps League spoke as well. Smith is a U.S. Army veteran, serving from 1965 to 1968 and was in Vietnam in 1967. Smith served on the USNS Corpus Christi Bay, with the fifth Echelon maintenance unit. Spending over 50,000 volunteer hours doing housecalls hospice, Smith has been awarded the Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion from the Four Chaplains organization for his effort.
“With Housecalls Hospice, we go see veterans that are on hospice care and we take them a plaque, a Bible, a hat and pray with them and talk with them. If we can get a smile out of the veteran, then our visit was complete,” Smith said. “We laugh and joke, that’s my thing is whenever I first walk in a house, if I can get somebody to start grinning or laughing. That helps the veteran to break loose a little bit and have a good time with it.”
Smith also said younger veterans in the area need to join local organizations to help fellow veterans because of the sacrifice that they have made.
“We need to get people involved in these different organizations, the DAV out of Murphytown and the Marine Corps League needs new members to work. God wants us to work, to get out here and to help fellow veterans. That’s what it’s all about, because of the sacrifice that the veterans made. Thank these people for what they do, and we need to get out there and help them.”
Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce read a proclamation signed by all the mayors of the Mid-Ohio Valley to mark the occasion.
“Whereas on this day, we Americans have the opportunity to reflect on the past and renew our patriotism, so that we may continue to live in freedom and seek peace so that our veterans will not have died in vain,” Joyce said. “Now, therefore, we the mayors of the Mid-Ohio Valley, do hereby recognize Nov. 11, 2020, as Veterans Day and encourage all citizens to display the American flag and show their appreciation and to honor the service and sacrifices of all veterans, both living and deceased.”
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