ELKINS - Local veterans hope area residents "forward march" to attend a celebration of soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty so other Americans can remain free and proud.
The American Legion is organizing a Memorial Day ceremony, set for 2 p.m. Monday at the All-Veterans Memorial, located at the corner of Railroad and Randolph avenues.
The ceremony will feature a presentation of colors, the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" by children from the Highland Adventist School and feature guest speaker, Elkins Mayor Van Broughton.
American Legion Post 29 Commander Dennis Calain said Broughton will speak in remembrance of fallen veterans, and the event will feature representation by members of the American Legion Post 29, Marine Corps League Detachment 956, Elkins VFW Post 3647, Coalton VFW Post 5583 and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 812.
Calain said the ceremony is important because he believes veterans should be remembered for the services they provided to the country.
"Well, personally, I was in uniform for 41 years, and I firmly believe in service to my country. That is something near and dear to me," Calain said.
"I think we should absolutely remember the veterans, especially those that have paid the supreme sacrifice by giving their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today. There is an old saying, 'Freedom isn't free.' There is always a price to be paid."
Calain said, on behalf of the American Legion, he wanted to thank Tomblyn Funeral Home for providing a tent, Shop 'n Save for donating baked goods and refreshments, and Mary's Greenhouse - along with groundskeepers for the site - for donating flowers and keeping up the landscaping.
"The memorial is supported through anonymous, private donations, and we appreciate all the support," Calain said. "Everybody is invited to come down and enjoy the ceremony. Refreshments will be served on site following the ceremony."
In addition to the ceremony at the All-Veterans Memorial, the American Legion will be placing flags on city streets and at the graves of fallen veterans at the Little Arlington Cemetery in Cravensdale.
"On holidays, like Memorial Day, the Legion will line the streets in town with flags, from Gino's to the CVS intersection on Davis Street and from the courthouse down to the railroad yard," Calain added. "And on Saturday, at Little Arlington Cemetery - with the help of the Boy Scout Troop in Beverly that is supported by the American Legion - we will place about 600 flags."