Last year Superstorm Sandy left the shrubbery at the All Veterans Memorial damaged and broken, killing several plants. The replacement of the shrubs was a project that the All Veterans Memorial Counsel couldn't afford to get done if it wasn't for, once again, the help of the community.
I want to start with thanking Mike Elza of Mountain Hospice for heading and coordinating this whole effort and Mary's Greenhouse and Terra Flora Landscaping for the procurement and the planting of these new shrubs. Mayor Van Broughton and the Elkins maintenance crew removed and disposed of the old ones. JR Phillips and the Mountain School crew, along with Debbie Larkin and D&E's Student Veterans Association provided labor. Hardee's provided breakfast sandwiches for the workers. Kathy Vance also offered a lot of assistance, while Hospice volunteer Peggy Canfield pitched in as well. Last, but not least, Jessica of Mountain Hospice worked very hard, not to mention bringing the donuts.
Donations for this project have been provided by Mountain Hospice, AES Wind Laurel Mountain LLC and Mary's Greenhouse. Their support is greatly appreciated, but isn't close to covering the entire cost of the project. Anyone wanting to give a donation to the cause may go to www.mountainhospice.com and note that it is for the Veterans Memorial Tree Fund or mail it to Mountain Hospice, Veteran Memorial Tree Fund, 1002 South Crim Ave., Belington, WV 26250.
I would like to thank Larry Gouer for his continual support of the monument by providing the flowers year round, American Legion Post 29 for putting on the Memorial Day and POW/MIA ceremony this year, the Vietnam Veterans 812 for doing the upcoming Veterans Day ceremony, John Lothes and his family along with the members of my family that donate their time for the upkeep of the memorial.
Take time when you are driving by to look at the memorial's red, white and blue lights that are provided through Mountain Hospice and its Light a Life program.
The All Veterans Memorial is a focal point when coming into town and reflects this county's pride and commitment to all of our veterans. Thank you.