Veterans honored at school

The Inter-Mountain photo by Sarah Goodrich The Upshur County Honor Guard concludes Friday morning's Veterans Celebration offered at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.

BUCKHANNON –Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School students invited family and friends who are veterans for a celebratory day of patriotism Friday.

Principal Renee Warner greeted students and veterans to the annual Veterans Celebration, which has been offered at the middle school for the past five years.

“We recognize the sacrifice and courage you have shown in defending the freedom of our United States of America,” Warner said to the veterans. “Thanks to you the strength and vitality of our great country has endured the test of time.”

Mary Albaugh, a Navy veteran who helped start the Veteran’s Celebration, recognized the Upshur County Honor Guard.

“These veterans have continue to serve their fellow veterans by providing full military honors for deceased veterans,” Albaugh said.

She noted the local honor guard have provided 34 military services for deceased veterans this year.

“In knee-deep snow and cold rain and in the heat of the sun, these veterans provide honor and respect to those that have served and protected at a fault for our freedom,” said Albaugh.

Guest speaker Sherman Baxa, past West Virginia state commander of the American Legion, spoke to fellow veterans and students of the pride that comes along with serving your country.

“Years from now, many of you will be what I am and many others are today, you will be a veteran. You will have served your country. One of the most proud things, in my opinion, that you can do, is to serve your country,” he said.

Another notable speaker for the program was Commander Larry Brown, who spoke about the importance and the symbolism within the American flag.

Barbara McVaney, owner of Mountaineer Military Museum, discussed the Honor Flight, and how the experience impacts participating veterans. She urged veterans to research the organization, which allows participants to travel to Washington, D.C.

“I recommend it highly. If you’ve never had the opportunity, check it out … I encourage you,” said McVaney.

Throughout the program, the B-UMS band and choir performed for guests. Doug Gould, B-UMS student, performed “Pray for the Boys/Girls.”

Each veteran in attendance was named and recognized, which principal Warner thought was a necessary to show individual recognition.

“It’s very important to keep patriotism alive with our younger generations … and so they really understand what it’s all about and that learn how to show respect,” said Catherine McCauley, who also helped kick-start the event and B-UMS counselor.

The program concluded on the football field with the Upshur County Honor Guard performing “Volley” and “To The Colors.”