PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Monday was Veterans Day and if nothing else, the Mid-Ohio Valley certainly knows how to celebrate the many men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces.
Schools all over the nation honored veterans with school assemblies, much like the one Mineral Wells Elementary had.
“What we try to do, you know, at Mineral Wells, is to ensure that the kids understand what sacrifice, commitment and duty mean,” said fifth grade teacher and U.S. Air Force veteran Matt Gwynn.
Gwynn’s own son was honored at their assembly, as he is taking steps to become an officer in the Air Force.
“Alex was notified by Senator Joe Manchin that he will be receiving a congressional nomination towards attending the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado,” said Gwynn.
But school assemblies are only one small way the Mid-Ohio Valley celebrates its veterans.
Loads of people showed up for parades in Parkersburg and Marietta.
“It definitely does get more important with age> But, there again, you can’t be too sad about getting old when you have a crowd like this and people like this in West Virginia, that support the veterans like we do,” said Vietnam vet Jim Viers.
These celebrations mean a lot to the men and women who served.
“It’s really easy to recognize how much we’re appreciated here in Parkersburg, West Virginia because when I came home from Vietnam, through California, things wasn’t quite the same. I mean, many veterans come home through the terminals in California, took their uniforms off and thrown them away because they didn’t want to be seen because of the hassle they had,” said Viers.
“It means a lot to me to be in it, and if I wasn’t in it, I’d be marching in it. Long as I can, I’m 76 years old, I don’t know how many more years I can do it but I’ll keep trying,” said Harry English, a Vietnam veteran.
“Very proud of what we got,” said Elmer Treadway, a Korean War veteran.
In addition to parades short ceremonies were held to further honor veterans with salutes, speeches, and recognition of the veterans themselves.
Ceremonies offered some veterans a chance to reflect on the world today.
“This world’s always not been like it is today, or like it was five years ago. It just keeps changing,” said Kelton Fliehman, a Korean War veteran.
Other veterans recalled their time in service. Elmer Treadway is 91 years old and a Korean War veteran. He earned a Purple Heart after taking a bullet in the arm.
“I got off a few rounds and that’s when I got shot. I had my arm up like that, shooting my rifle. Their bullet come in here, and come out right back here,” said Treadway, pointing to his forearm.
And of course, even the Civil War was remembered at Fort Boreman Park with a live cannon firing.
In addition to all this, Kroger donated hundreds of pies for we have your six to give to veterans.
“My father, his brother, my grandfather and two of my children have served. So, this is a way for to provide service to veterans because they’ve sacrificed so much for us,” said Gloria Husk, founder of We Have Your Six.