SANDYVILLE - Veterans, relatives and government officials gathered at Indepenence Cemetery Monday afternoon to dedicate the new veterans memorial there.
Randall Bare, newly elected chairman of the West Virginia Veterans Council, served as master of ceremonies for the dedication which included the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by veteran Roy Guthrie, the Pledge of Allegiance led by Bare, and the raising and lowering to half-mast of the American Flag by Gareth Smith of the Jackson County marine Corps League and the raising of the flags of the five Armed Service branches by Marine Corps League and other attending veterans.
U.S. Air Force Chaplain Jack Miller delivered keynote remarks calling on each of those in attendance to honor those who answered the call to duty to defend freedom who came before, who currently serve and who will serve in the future, and to remember the sacrifice and dedication of the American warrior.
Spectators were reminded by Bare of the stone-like resolve to keep our nation free represented by the darkl granite of the new Independence Cemetery memorial and the blank space left following the listing of armed conflicts represented by veterans buried in the cemetery: American Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Granada, Beirut, Pamama, Gulf War, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Phillipines, Liberia and Iraq.
World War II veteran Edward Kipp delivered remarks praising those who have followed he and his comrades as living history.
Bare recognized those principle players including the Shockey Brothers, David, Leslie and Gene, who helped make the Independence Veterans Memorial a reality and awarded the American Patriotic Medal to David Shockey for his leading role in the memorial project.
Shockey, in turn, thanked all who donated to make the project come to fruition.