Raleigh County Veterans Museum preparing for seventh annual Healing Field Ceremony

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The Raleigh County Veterans Museum is preparing for their seventh annual Healing Field Ceremony.

Each Veterans Day, in exchange for a $5 donation, they plant a flag outside of their museum, each one representing a veteran. Cindy Parker, the volunteer director with the museum, says all veterans are welcome to be honored in the ceremony.

“You reserve a flag in memory or in honor of our veterans. They don’t have to be from Raleigh County. It can be any veterans. They can also be currently serving, because they will be our future veterans,” Parker said.

They’ve so far received nearly 200 donations, and each flag planted will be honored during the ceremony on Veterans Day. The Healing Field has become a tradition of the area, and is a time for remembrance, as well as personal healing. 

“It’s very heartwarming and sad at the same time. We usually do Memorial Day to remember those veterans, but here in the Healing Fields, it’s trying to heal your wounds, your losses. So it’s for both.”

The theme for this year’s ceremony is “Living with the Effects of War.” It’s meant to highlight the struggles that veterans go through after they come home. They’ll even have a special guest, Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Thorne, a Vietnam Veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange, and now lives with Parkinson’s.

“There’s so many veterans out there that come back from war or service. They’ve lost their hearing, maybe lost their eyesight because of what kind of job that they did in the service.”

The Healing Field Ceremony will take place this Wednesday, November 11, at 2 P.M. at the Raleigh County Veterans Museum. During the ceremony, each veteran represented will be honored for their service.

The flags can currently be seen from outside the Raleigh Veterans Museum on Harper Road in Beckley.