Honoring Marion County HeroesNovember 9, 2016
What exactly do we celebrate on Veterans Day? To be sure, Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, is our chance to acknowledge the sacrifices of the men and women who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces of the United States.
On Friday, November 11th Marion County will honor its veterans in several ceremonies throughout the county.
The city of Mannington is hosting a breakfast for veterans and their families at the North Marion Senior Center beginning at 8:30 am. A brief ceremony will be held at the Mannington Vietnam Veteran Memorial (corner of Water Street & Mead Avenue) at 11:00 am.
At 1:00 pm, the annual Veteran’s Day Parade gets underway in downtown Fairmont. The parade will leave Palatine Park and march to Veteran’s Square Plaza on Adams Street for a short ceremony. George Davis will kick off the ceremony. Attendees will also enjoy music by the East Fairmont Busy Bee Band. The Honor Guard will be laying wreaths on the the various monuments on the plaza.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial located at East Marion Park will be the hosting a memorial service beginning at 5:00 pm. Judge Fred Fox and Michael Giovinazzo will be guest speakers.
Veteran’s Day will also be the start of a month-long tribute to James Show Maddox, a native of Fairmont, WV, died after 77 days adrift in the South Atlantic following a November 2, 1942 U-boat attack on his merchant vessel, the M. S. Zaandam.
Dedication of the James Maddox Memorial bench at the First Baptist Church – 900 Fairmont Avenue in Fairmont
This will be held in the church sanctuary on Friday November 11th at 7:00 p.m. A memorial bench placed on the church lawn will be dedicated in a program about the WWII event and reflections about the Maddox family.
Community Lecture Series, Frank and Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center, Fairmont State University
This event held in the 2nd floor gallery begins at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 13th. It recalls the power of a story from the early 1970s when an elderly neighbor told a young woman about the family who lived in the house she now occupied on Pittsburgh Avenue in Fairmont. Recalling that story 40 years later brought about the search for the details behind bits and pieces of a story that became a journey in discovery of a local hero.
The Life of James Show Maddox Display at the annual Open House at the historic Fleming Mansion at 300 1st Street in Fairmont during the Feast of the 7 Fishes Festival. This event will be held on Saturday Dec. 10th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The A Cappella quartet “Angelica” will perform a selection of holiday music from 2-3 p.m. during this event.
All participants at any of these events will receive a free copy of the publication entitled “Forgotten Hero,” which tells the story of this young man who grew up on Pittsburgh Avenue. It also examines the impact on his parents who lost their only child, and the resolve of his young widow he left behind. Note: Cost to tour the Fleming Mansion is $5
From Mother’s Day to Father’s Day to even Grandparent’s Day, West Virginia has paid homage to those people who are most important in our lives. A few years ago, another tribute began when Kathleen Panek, co-owner of the Gillum House B&B in our neighboring town of Shinnston and a handful of other innkeepers in West Virginia opened their doors to veterans in honor of Veteran’s Day. In 2010, the program went international with inns and B&Bs in the US, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, France and Namibia, Africa participating. Now hundreds of bed and breakfast’s participate in B&B’s for Vets by offering a free room night around Veterans’ Day.
To see how north-central West Virginia honors our veterans, be sure to check out our American Heroes Itinerary.
Which of these memorial sites have you visited?