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Gold Star Mothers and American Legion join in Memorial Day observance

While many Americans celebrated Memorial Day 2021 as a paid holiday, members of the James E. Marshall American Legion Post #187 and Gold Star Mothers of West Virginia did not. The two organizations gathered at Valley View Memorial Park in Hurricane on Monday, May 31, to do that which they do.

For the Legion, doing means honoring all who have perished in the cause of preserving the freedom for which America was founded and continues to stand. For the Gold Star Mothers, doing is personal, deeply personal. Gold Star Mothers have a mission to educate, remember, and inspire. It is a mission which includes providing support to each other. No mother chose to become a Gold Star Mother. No mother chose to lose a son or daughter in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Post Commander Jim McDade spoke on the history of Memorial Day observances dating from the Civil War to the present and served as master of ceremonies.

Each Gold Star Mother shared a treasured memory of something which their son said or did. The group presented Valley View officials with the Honor and Remember Flag. The flag is a visible public reminder to all Americans of the lives given to preserve freedom; and a national symbol of appreciation recognizing the sacrifice of generations of fallen hero families.

Participating members were Barbara Ulbrich, Belinda Jividen, Terry Cunningham, Shirley White, Brenda Thomas and Emma Johnson.

Post #187 performed the 21-Gun Salute and played Taps in honor of those who have fallen in service to America. The tribute at Valley View was the second of the day for Post members.

In the course of a typical year, the Post will be a part of about eighty funerals and participate in another sixty events. Post Chaplain David Bush has participated in more than one thousand events since retiring in 2006. “You never retire from honoring fellow veterans,” Bush said.

McDade, who is not retired, stated that he worries that the time may come when there is an insufficient number of Legion members to honor those who have devoted themselves to honoring others. Post #187 has approximately twelve members who attempt to participate in every event.

These seven wait for the command to execute the 21-gun salute.
The Gold Star Mothers presented Valley View Memorial Park the Honor and Remember Flag.
Members of Post #187 participated in multiple Memorial Day ceremonies.
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