This annual day of remembrance is an important time to thank our veterans for their selfless acts and sacrifice. In the World War II section of the Veterans Museum (Beckley), there’s a direct link to the American Legion Veterans Cemetery.
“We invite people to come out, especially if you have a loved one buried there,” said Army veteran Ron Hedrick, museum president and member of American Legion post 32.
“Salvation Army band will be there, and we’re gonna place flags on every one of the graves; there are 245 veterans buried there.”
It’s one of the most revered days for any veteran because it honors those from all wars and even those who served in peacetime.
“If you have a grandparent that may have served or a father or brother or sister that’s serving now even, then why not get into the spirit of celebrating veterans,” Hedrick said.
Join them — from the cemetery to the parade in downtown Beckley and then return to the museum for their private healing fields service.
According to Ron, there are many you would never know are veterans, but as soon as you found out…
“A simple thank you for service; it always makes me feel good, especially when it’s a small child that comes up to me in a store or something and says, ‘thank you for your service.’ The Army vet said it warms his heart.
American Legion is caring for their cemetery but with World War II, Korean War and Vietnam vet members getting up there in years — it’s tough for them without an influx of young veterans. So they invite those in their 20s, 30s and 40s to join them, VFW or another civic group that fights for veterans. It’s good to keep those organizations alive and full.
“So we’re asking for veterans to start to get more involved and pick up what those guys started from World War I, when the American Legion was started to World War II, Korea, Vietnam and all the Gulf wars,” said Hedrick.
Ron says they’re trying to get an endowment started for the cemetery. The Beckley Area Foundation is going to manage it once it reaches $10,000 and that’ll be for life.
“Hopefully that’ll take care of the cemetery and preserve it so that future veterans can be buried there and those that are there now can be honored forever,” he said.
IF YOU WANT TO GO:
8:30am service at American Legion Cemetery
1708 S Kanawha St, Beckley