GRAFTON, W.Va. – The American Legion of Taylor Co. held a flag-raising ceremony on Saturday afternoon to kick off “Veterans Week”.
In total, 50 flags were raised and the people raising them included, the mayor, city council, VFW members, Boys and Girls State. David L. Robinson, the commander of the local American Legion Post 12, said there were so many people representing so many groups, he couldn’t list them all. Regardless, he said he was grateful to each and every one of them for donating their time to do something so distinctly Grafton.
“Grafton is known as Memorial City, it’s fitting that we’re here,” Robinson said. “We have the birthplace of Mother’s Day. We have the longest-running Memorial Day parade in the nation, and it’s named the West Virginia Memorial Day Parade. And, we have the only two national cemeteries in the state of West Virginia. We’re very proud of that. And we want to make sure that when people drive into Grafton, they know they’re in a patriotic city.”
All 50 of the flag poles used in the ceremony, Robinson said, were recently replaced.
He said the flag poles have always been there in what is known as the “flag aisle” of town. But, they were so old, they began to look “ragged”.
The American Legion, along with local businesses and citizens came together to raise the money and replace the poles. Now, they get to use them for Veterans Week.
“It feels wonderful that we get to do that,” Robinson said. “I mean, we weren’t sure, we were going to make it. But, we did thanks to the generosity of all those people I mentioned. And, we maintain a lot. There’s a group of gentlemen that come and maintain, cut the grass, keep the equipment ready and all that stuff. It is very gratifying to us that this is happening.”
The most important part of Veterans Week, Robinson said is Veterans Day. The City of Grafton will be having a parade, of course.
“This Thursday we’ll have a veteran’s ceremony at 11 o’clock at the Walnut Street National Cemetery,” Robinson said. “And then, that evening at 6 o’clock, there will be a Veterans Day parade through the City of Grafton.”
Robinson said the parade will start at the B&O depot in the Elks Building.