BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon-Upshur County community gathered at the Veterans Chapel in Heavner Cemetery in honor of Veterans Day Monday, May 25.
Commander of VFW Post 3663 Larry Brown thanked everyone for attending and expressed how important Memorial Day is for everyone.
“On this nice quiet day across the country, we come together as a nation and remember those lost in battle. The thunder of bombs, the roar of tanks, the rumbling of aircraft flying overhead and the shooting of artillery… on this Memorial Day, we come together to appreciate the freedom that we enjoy, because we honor the sacrifice that was paid for,” Brown said.
Mayor David McCauley started by apologizing for the state of the cemetery prior to the Memorial Day commemoration ceremony.
“At the outset, I apologize especially to our veterans,” McCauley said. “I got a message early Saturday afternoon that the lawn out of the cemetery was deplorable. I didn’t know, I haven’t been here since Mother’s Day, but we rallied the troops Saturday afternoon, and we had 12 folks out here all day Sunday to get the lawn to an acceptable state, so our hats off to the City Streets and Parks guys.
McCauley reflected on the other programs and services Buckhannon has organized to honor veterans and those who served.
“Our Buckhannon-Upshur community regularly celebrates and honors our wonderful veterans in a number of ways,” McCauley said. “In addition to our Flag to the Fallen program here at Heavner Cemetery, our city honors our veterans with the Walk of Valor at Jawbone Park,” McCauley said.
He said hundreds of veterans’ banners have been displayed in Jawbone Park thanks to Create Buckhannon, the Opportunity House and Buckhannon’s street crews. McCauley also thanked the Upshur County Honor Guard for helping him dedicate flagpoles in six city installations the year before last.
“A year before last, I requested the installation of flagpoles at all of our city facilities, including the sewer and water plants and our waste collection facility out at Mud Lick Run,” McCauley said. “There is a place that you can stand down in our Public Safety Complex and view Old Glory waving proudly from six city installations.”
He said Buckhannon’s local American Legion Post received national attention for their efforts to ensure citizenship and patriotism were included in academic curriculums in grades K-12.
“Special thanks to Bob Post, who was a substantial contributor to that effort,” McCauley said. “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 and 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.”
Brown said everyone who has been in the military has made sacrifices for their country.
“We all know that anybody that has been in the military has made sacrifices,” Brown said. “We enjoy living in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and we must continue to remind Americans there is no freedom without bravery, and those we honor today were brave men.”