Gold Star Mothers share their sons’ stories on Memorial Day

West Virginia

HURRICANE, W.Va. (WOWK) – In Putnam County and Hurricane, the Memorial Day services continued for those who fought to serve our country.

The American Legion Post 187 held three services to honor those who have died. What’s different this year, is some of the Gold Star Mothers shared their personal stories about their sons.

Belinda Jividen is just one of the Gold Star Mothers who lost her son the day after Christmas in 2015 to PTSD suicide.

“There are a lot of children that don’t know what the cost of freedom is. This is the cost of freedom. Our sons dying is the cost of freedom,” Jividen said.

Plenty of people gathered at the Valley View Cemetery in Hurricane and outside the Putnam County Judicial Building to honor the Gold Star Mother’s sons and all the other men and women who have died.

“It’s just a privilege to live in the United States, to get out of bed in the morning in a free country. Everyone should be thankful,” Kenneth Bright, a Vice-Commander at American Legion Post 187, said.

Last year, due to the pandemic, many memorial services were canceled, making Monday’s events even more important to the families left behind.

Veteran Clarence Wingo, who served for more than 40 years and celebrates his birthday 90th birthday on Memorial Day, said although he didn’t intend on joining the military, he’s glad he did.

“I just felt like, you know, the camaraderie mostly. On active duty with these guys is what they call the band of brothers. We’re closer than brothers,” Wingo said.

Although sons and daughters have gone on, the memory continues to live on.

“I have a journal and I’ve done this ever since he died, I don’t even know how many journals I have, but I write to him every day. The conversations we don’t get to have anymore,” Jividen said.  

At the end of the ceremony in Hurricane, the Gold Star Mothers presented the cemetery with the Honor and Remember Flag to be hung up and flown at the cemetery.

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