Events, News

2023 Memorial Day Celebration 

May 29, 2023 10:00A.M.

V.F.W. Post 3408

American Legion Post 25

Welcome — Perry Ferguson

Invocation — Jim Messinger

Pledge of Allegiance — Donivan Cumpston

National Anthem — Hedy Lipscomb

Uncle Sam — Ezra Richards

Recognition of Gold Star Mothers and James Hall, 100 Year Old  Member

“We Pause to Remember” — Delegate David Kelley

Firing Squad –Jim Hall

Taps — Bill Stewart 

Benediction — Jim Messinger 

Capito Honors Memorial Day

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today issued a video statement ahead of Memorial Day on May 29. 

“Please join me in recognizing the great sacrifices so many of our families have made, and that we will be paying tribute to this Memorial Day.

 “You know, we realize what a great country we live in, but we also realize that, as has been said many times, freedom isn’t free.

 “And sometimes the greatest sacrifice, which is losing a family member or community member, or somebody from our great State of West Virginia.

 “We need to take this time to pause and say not only thank you, God be with you, God bless this great country of ours.”

Mac Warner: Memorial Day for ThoseWho ‘Gave Their Last Full Measure’ 

PARKERSBURG — Memorial Day and the sacrifices made by those who served in the armed forces were recalled and honored in the 61st annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Sunset Memory Gardens on West Virginia 95 in south Parkersburg.

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner was the main speaker at the ceremony at the cemetery’s Veterans Memorial.

Warner said Memorial Day is a uniquely American tradition.

“It sprang from the Civil War , a year after the war ended in 1865,” he said. “People were starting to gather, first in New York and then throughout the other states to pay tribute to those who had fallen — and from that Decoration Day sprang Memorial Day which we continue to celebrate to this day.”

Warner said the day is meant to honor those who have fallen in battle, making it different from Veteran’s Day or Armed Forces Day.

“This is truly a tribute to those who have given their last full measure of devotion as President Abraham Lincoln said,” he said.

Warner said everyone knows someone who served or died but when one can put a name and face to that one who died, it can give it a special meaning.

“For me that one person is Lt. Jake Fritz from Verdun, Neb.,” he said “Jake graduated in 2005 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. In 2008 his brother Dan Fritz was at our house.”

Warner said at the time he did not know about Jake’s death and Dan was at Warner’s house because back home they were marking one year since his passing. Warner said Jake had been assigned to Karbala, Iraq, the site of a Shi’ite Muslim mosque.

“On the day of 20 January 2007, 10 Shi’ite militia dressed in U.S. Army uniforms, rode in U.S. military vehicles with U.S. military weapons, obviously a war crime in itself,” he said. “They flew by the Iraqi guards to Jake’s command post where he was helping to train Iraqi policemen.”

Warner said they killed one officer immediately and took four hostages including Jake and took them 25 miles away and killed them. He said as he died Jake had the presence of mind to write his Social Security number on the vehicle in his own blood so there would be a sign he had been there.

“That is about as real as it gets,” Warner said. “It is heart-wrenching.”

Warner said Jake’s mother told him she tried to remember her sons and what they did as children rather than how Jake died. Warner said the leader of the group was released from prison after Iraq was turned back over after U.S. military forces left.

“That is what causes people like me and so many others to go into public service hoping we can change public policy that does not allow things like that to happen to our brave soldiers who give the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “But this is more than just remembering those who have fallen in battle; there is no greater love than someone to lay down their life for others.”

Warner said the American soldier has a role in keeping the nation free.

“Thomas Jefferson gave us those eloquent words that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he said. “Those are great but no one is going to give you those, somebody has to go out and take it and keep it

“That is what the American soldier has done, is doing and will continue to do.” 

JEFFREY SAULTON, Reporter, [email protected]

What Is 

Memorial Day?  

by Delegate David Kelley

On Sunday night, Christmas Eve, 1944, the SA Léopoldville, a troop transport ship carrying men of the 66th Panther Division across the English Channel was hit by a torpedo from German U-Boat. The ship sunk five miles off the coast of France. 800 men lost their lives in the cold waters of the English Channel that night. Many of them friends of my father, who was on another troop ship. We pause to remember those young men today. 

As we gather here on this Memorial Day, we come together to honor the brave men and women who have given their lives in service to out county. It is a day where we remember their sacrifice. It is a day to express the deep gratitude that we feel for all those who have served to protect our freedom. 

I want to remind you that freedom is NEVER free. Someone gave their life so we could be here this. Moring. Someone’s son or daughter did not return form foreign soil so we could remain free. 

Memorial Day is a day that had deep roots in history, with origins that trace back to years to following the Civil War. 

Since that time, it has been a day in which we come together to honor and remember the sacrifices of those who have served in out armed forces. 

 Clearly, all our men and women in uniform gave same but some of them gave the last full measure of their lives and that’s why we are here 


We are here to remember them, to honor them, and their sacrifices. 

In West Virginia, Memorial Day holds a special significance. We have had many brave men and women who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, US Army Spc. Jason Marchand, 26, died Oct. 5, 2007, after an explosive device detonated near his unit in Baghdad. Marchand, from West Union, graduated from Doddridge County High School in 2000, and was posthumously awarded a Bronzed Star and Purple Heart for his service. Those brave individuals, along with countless other, stand as a testament to the courage and selflessness that it takes to serve in our armed forces. 

They exemplify that very best of what it means to be a West Virginian. 

Their sacrifices MUST always be remembered. 

But it is not just the people of West Virginia that we remember today. 

We also remember the millions of men and women from all across our great nation who have served our country with distinction. 

The number of lives lost is staggering, and the impact of these losses is felt throughout the communities across the country.

On this Memorial Day, let us honor these brave individuals by recommitting ourselves to the principles that they died defending.

Let us pledge to cherish our freedoms.

Let us pledge to support one another with kindness and compassion. 

Let us pledge to work to create a more just and equitable society. 

Let us Pledge to keep this great nation one nation under God indivisible with Liberty and justice for all. 

Abraham Lincoln said his famous Gettysburg Address: 

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rater to e dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have dined in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the. People, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. 

Finally, let us take a moment today to express our profound gratitude to the men and women who have served our country. We owe them a debt that can never be fully repaid. But we can honor their sacrifice by renewing our commitment to the values that they fought to protect. 

Thank You.