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Memorial Day events set in area

ELKINS — To some Memorial Day and the weekend that leads up to the holiday is the official kickoff to the summer. A time to unwind, fire up the grill and have an extra day off work. But the true meaning of the cherished holiday remains and always will be a day to pay homage to fallen soldiers , who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend the United States of America.

“To most people it’s another day to have a cookout or whatever, but to a veteran it’s more important,” said Elkins American Legion Post 29 Finance Officer Rick Hinchman. “But most of us observe it as a day when we think about all the sacrifices veterans have made over the years.”

Post 29 will once again be holding its annual Memorial Day Celebration at the All-Veterans Memorial in Elkins at 11 a.m. Monday. The event will feature guest speakers, the laying of wreaths and other tributes.

“We are going to go out and put all the flags down on Monday morning in preparation for the event,” said Hinchman. “Then after the ceremony is over we will have lunch for all the veterans.”

Elkins American Legion will also be at Little Arlington Cemetery on Saturday to put flags at the grave sites of veterans. Boy Scout Troop 66 out of Beverly will assist Post 29.

“We will put the flags up at the grave sites and then take them down the following Saturday,” said Hinchman.

The Belington VFW, along with American Legion members, will also be placing flags on veterans’ graves this weekend. The flags will be laid at the Fraternal Cemetery in Belington on Saturday morning beginning at 9 a.m.

There will also be a Memorial Day Service in Barbour County at 1 p.m. on Monday. The event will be at the Fraternal Cemetery and will feature the American Legion Honor Guard performing Taps and a Gun Salute. VFW and Auxiliary will lay a wreath for each war in remembrance of those killed in actions.

In Buckhannon, volunteers began hanging “Walk of Valor Banners” in Jawbone Park this week to honor veterans. Close to 700 banners will be hung leading up to Monday’s Memorial Day Ceremony at Heavener Cemetery.

Memorial Day, which was originally known as Decoration Day, is a federal holiday to honor and mourn United States military personnel who have died while serving in the armed forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May.

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