New flag added to fallen soldier memorial

RAINELLE, WV (WOAY) – Every year, Rainelle welcomes hundreds of bikers during the annual Run for the Wall, but this year will be different.

While the Run for the Wall event was cancelled the patriotic town wasn’t going to let that stop them from honoring fallen veterans.

Just like every other year, volunteers planted over 11,000 flags in the Garden of Honor to represent fallen soldiers from the Mountain State. A new flag joins the display this year, remembering the families of those lost.

“It helps [families] cope a little bit better and know that they aren’t forgotten,” said volunteer Emma Michelinie.

The Honor and Remember flag represents Gold Star Mothers, an organization of mothers who have lost sons or daughters in the service. Like the American flag, each part represents something different.

“It reminds them that there are people out there that thank them daily for their sacrifice,” said Sgt. Dawn Dunbar.

The new flag waves next to the POW/MIA flag, the West Virginia state flag, and the American flag.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.