CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – While the streets of Clarksburg were mostly empty on this Veterans Day morning since the annual Veterans Day parade had been canceled earlier this year, the community still found other ways to honor the military.
Parade organizers said the threat of the second wave of COVID-19 was the deciding factor in cancellation. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 573 did organize a small parade honoring servicemen and women. Post members said it was a tough decision to downsize this year’s parade.
“We usually spend three to four thousand dollars on the parade,” said Paul Howe, VFW Chairman for Veterans Day. “We have commemorative pins. We buy flags and brochures and so forth. We had to make a decision in September, do we go ahead and put that money out and risk having to lose it? Next year, I think we’re going to go big whether anyone likes it or not.”
Despite the lack of a public parade, Clarksburg did have a special ceremony Thursday morning. The Meuse Argonne VFW Post 573 held its annual Veterans Day Ceremony. Jackson’s Square hosted the event which featured Congressman David McKinley and West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner as guest speakers.
The patriotic ceremony included traditional music including songs Amazing Grace, the National Anthem and the Harrison County Honor Guard’s version of Taps.
The event is to honor all branches of the military and their families.
“Well, it’s recommended and even public law that we set aside one day each year to acknowledge Veterans and how they have served their country during wartime and during peacetime, whether it’s National Guard, whether it’s reserves or whether it’s active duty, and the time veterans stay away from home and just provide service to their country.”
The ceremony also included a 21-gun salute and the traditional laying of the wreaths.