Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 11, 2012

Veterans Day Time to honor, remember our heroes

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— Today, we once again pause and give thanks to the millions of men and women who have so honorably served their country over the years.

It’s a time to pay tribute to the brave men and women who proudly wear, and have proudly worn, a uniform in service to our great nation. Here in the coalfields of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia, we are proud of our veterans. We realize that the freedoms we enjoy today simply would not be possible had it not been for the many sacrifices made by our veterans throughout the years.

And their sacrifices continue to this very day. In fact, many of these brave men and women are still stationed in dangerous hot spots across the globe fighting the war on terror and other conflicts.

As in past years, we say thank you to our many veterans, and we also honor them through parades and other special gatherings across the region. Many of these parades and events have already been held, while others will be celebrated on Monday.

In McDowell County, one of the country’s longest ongoing Veterans Day parades will begin Monday at 10 a.m. in downtown  Welch. Brigadier General David Buckalew, director of the joint staff of the West Virginia National Guard, will serve as the grand marshal of this year’s parade, as well as the keynote speaker.

Also in McDowell County, the annual Veterans and Businessman’s Luncheon will be held Monday at the National Guard Armory in Welch following the parade, and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is scheduled to serve as the keynote speaker for the sixth annual McDowell County Visitors and Veterans Center program in Kimball scheduled for Monday at 4 p.m.

The city of Princeton will also hold its annual Veterans Day parade Monday beginning at 11 a.m. on Mercer Street. And the town of Tazewell will hold the town’s first Veterans Day parade today at 2 p.m., with a parade lineup beginning at Tazewell High School and continuing through Main Street Tazewell.

All who can come out and show support for our veterans at these special parades and ceremonies are strongly urged to do so.

It is only fitting that we pay tribute to the brave men and women who have fought for our nation’s freedoms, battled our enemies and defended our borders with steadfast courage through local parades, ceremonies, memorial services and other events.

We as a region must continue to support all of our active military personnel, and our veterans. We cannot and must not forget the many sacrifices made by these brave men and women over the years.

We can also help our veterans in other ways. This includes continuing the fight in both Charleston and Washington for a long-requested outpatient clinic in Mercer County for area veterans.

Today, we honor our veterans. But it is important to remember that we must salute our veterans not only today, but every day.

It is because of their bravery and sacrifices that the United States stands as a beacon of freedom and as the greatest nation on this earth.

On this Veterans Day we once again say thank you.