A Remembrance Ceremony was held Sunday at the Gazebo Park on Main Street in Marlinton. It was a beautiful September day, much like that September day 15 years ago when life changed for so many people – and one might say, “it was the day the world changed,” as well.
On the surface, the event was reminiscent of earlier times when communities joined together for patriotic celebrations, but there was a somber tone Sunday as those gathered paid tribute to and honored those who lost their lives September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and on Flight 93 in a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as well as the hundreds of first responders.
“This ceremony also gives each of us an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to police officers, firefighters and EMS workers who take an oath to protect and serve the public, no matter how horrific the circumstances,” Marlinton Mayor Sam Felton said. “These are the ones that you and I depend on, for every emergency in our lives. When you dial 911, the troopers or the fire and rescue will show up.”
The Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps respectfully conducted important parts of the ceremony, as Clyde White and Homer Hunter raised the flag, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, sung by Barry Sharp.
Other songs were interspersed throughout the program, including Alan Jack- son’s “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning,” Diamond Rio’s “One More Day,” and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”
Helena Gondry, of Droop Mountain, read excerpts of a poem from “A Timbered Choir, the Sabbath Poems” by Wendell Berry:
“You do not have to walk in darkness.
If you will have the courage for love,
You may walk in light.
It will be the light of those who have suffered for peace.
It will be your light.”
The honor guard, under the direction of Commander Rick Wooddell, presented a 21-gun salute, and the ceremony ended with honor guard member Donnie Waybright playing Taps.
Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps members participating in the event were Harold Crist, Rick Wooddell, Delmar Dove, Sam Arbogast, Steve Fierbaugh, Clyde White, Willard Pingley, Thomas VanReenan, Homer Hunter and Liz Gay.