Built on property donated by the town of Whitesville, the Big Coal River Veterans Memorial was dedicated on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
The memorial commemorates the sacrifices of the men and women of the Big Coal River area who served in the armed forces of the United States.
The dedication ceremony was attended by a large turnout of veterans and area residents, along with county and state officials. Congressman Nick Rahall laid a wreath at the memorial services at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, which marked the end to World War I.
Cars lined both sides of the street on Rt 3, at Whitesville, as the American flag flew brightly as the backdrop behind the newly built 10-foot granite memorial.
The emotional ceremony outdoors was followed with speeches inside the Salamy Memorial Building. Those speaking to the standing-room only crowd gathered inside the Salamy Memorial Building included Congressman Rahall, Boone County Commission President Al Halstead, and veteran and Memorial Fund Committee Chairperson Ted Anderson.
We must never forget the sacrifices of our brave men and women of the armed forces, Congressman Rahall told the assembled crowd.
Ted Anderson, chairperson of the Big Coal River Veterans Memorial Committee gave closing remarks, recognizing the hard work and creative fundraising efforts of the memorial committee members Gail Daniel, Deborah Anderson, Georgia Price and Randall Kirk.
Approximately $28,000 of the $50,000 has been raised to purchase the memorial, where Daniel Boone VFW Post 5578 raised the colors for the first time on Wednesday, followed by the playing of the national anthem, the pledge of allegiance, a gun salute and taps.
Community members with the Memorial Committee are attempting to raise an additional $22,000 by January 8, and are accepting donations at Post Office Box 475, Whitesville, W.Va. 25209.
In addition to the memorial, a book will be published with the names of Big Coal River area veterans.
If you are a veteran, or know a veteran from the Big Coal River area, you may be included in the book by filling out a form, found on Page 6A, and mailing it with a check for $15.00 to the above address.