By Mayor David McCauley
Memorial Day Address
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Veterans’ Chapel, Heavner Cemetery
Good afternoon honored members of VFW Post #3663 & Frank B. Bartlett American Legion Post #7, distinguished guests, ladies & gentlemen. I’m privileged yet again to bring greetings to you from City Hall, & I welcome you all to your Veterans’ Chapel & our Heavner Cemetery on this day before Memorial Day 2019. Today on this glorious day, our community honors all of our veterans of military service being particularly mindful of those who paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedom & liberty. It has been my distinct honor to address you on previous Veterans’ Days, Memorial Days, Flag Days, & other celebrations of your military service during my 36+ years of residing here in our beloved town. I’ve shared my pride for my dad who we lost last August at 98, & who served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines & as part of the force occupying Japan with General MacArthur.
Our Buckhannon-Upshur community regularly celebrates & honors our wonderful veterans in a number of ways. In addition to our Flags for the Fallen program here, our City honors our veterans with the Walk of Valor during Memorial Day through Veterans’ Day. If you haven’t been to our Jawbone Park to see the hundreds of Veterans’ banners displayed, please do so, it’s an amazing sight. We appreciate the folks with Create Buckhannon & the Opportunity House who just installed this year’s banners this past week.
Last year, I directed the installation of flagpoles at all of our City facilities, including the Sewer & Water plants, & our Waste Collection facility out at Mud Lick Run. There is a place that you can stand down at our public safety complex & view Old Glory waving proudly from five City installations. I’d love to request our Honor Guard to make the tour with me soon to properly dedicate the new flagpoles at all of our facilities. Just 11 days ago our wonderful Honor Guard participated in the dedication of our Blue Wall & the new flagpole just outside of the police side of our public safety complex.
Today, I’d like to continue to put in a plug in for establishing the Veterans’ loop around both the VFW & American Legion complexes on Kanawha Street. The City will deliver paved driveways, new sidewalk, period lighting, a new patriotic themed landscaping area, a newly installed flagpole, & amazing, patriotic, public art along the VFW northernmost wall. Add a couple of benches, & there’d be no neater way of honoring our beloved veterans in all of West Virginia. Please help us get there. Let’s work together to realize this terrific honor for all veterans of Buckhannon-Upshur. When we work together, all things are possible.
Our Veterans’ chapel here displays by branch of service those who’ve protected us. Our Veterans’ Affairs Council chaired by Mary Albaugh also has been very active in touting the heroism of our veterans in our schools & throughout our community. Our American Legion Post received national accolades for their patriotism module now instructed in our Upshur County schools. Special thanks to Bob Post. As you’ve heard me say on many occasions, our children must be made aware of the service of those who came before them to fully appreciate all of our many freedoms & liberties- to know that all that we enjoy in this great nation has been made possible by our having been protected by our heroic veterans of military service. The high quality of life that we enjoy in the U.S. didn’t just happen- rather it has been fought for, & vigilantly protected for nearly 243 years now. Today’s threats to our great Republic & our way of life continue to be challenged every day.
During my more than three years now as mayor, we’ve recognized a wide variety of people who’ve contributed to Buckhannon’s charm, notoriety, history, & the arts. For every celebrity like Ted Cassidy (Lurch), Gray Barker (the famous UFO author), Pare Lorentz (FDR’s documentarian), or Jean Lee Latham (author)- we have honored more local personalities who have distinguished our community. Persons like Ace Mumford, Charles Warfield, fire chief Bud Bennett, Harley Brown, Ross Straight, Webb Grubb, Hank Ellis, Binky Poundstone, Fred Gaudet, & just last year- Larry Brown, all of whom have been remembered. We all vividly recall last year’s stirring ceremony when Larry Brown Flagpole Hill was dedicated.
We continue to support Commander Brown in his ongoing battle for good health, & we will always thank you and love you all for your sacrifices & excellent service to your country, & our great nation, & for us all. God bless our veterans. Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend while we all remember the true reason for our celebration.