Weirton honors past, present vets

WEIRTON – Weirton honored veterans of the past and present during a memorial service Monday in front of the city building.

Ward 4 Councilman George Ash Sr. introduced retired Sgt. 1st Class Steve Frank as the featured speaker. Frank, a native of Hancock County, noted that more than 45 percent of the veterans alive today are age 65 or older.

“If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to thank them,” he said. “Now is the time for young people to ask them questions, while you still can.”

Frank implored the crowd not to forget American prisoners of war and those still missing in action. He asked everyone present to take just a few minutes on Veterans Day to look up the story of Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan in 2009 and remains in the captivity of the Taliban to this day. He encouraged the younger generation to spend time researching the past.

“The Battle of Bunker Hill, the Bataan Death March, the Tet Offensive – there are things from history you really need to know about,” he said.

The Weir High School band and color guard performed several musical selections, and the honor guard, members of the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, was present.

A parade of wreath presenters representing organizations were escorted by the Tri-State Young Marines individually. Wreaths were presented for World War II Veterans and the Last Man’s Club, Korean War veterans, Vietnam War veterans, Gulf War veterans, the global war on terrorism and POW-MIA. Wreaths also were presented by AHEPA, American Legion Post 10, American Legion Post 10 Ladies Auxiliary, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Boy Scout Troop 334, First Choice America Federal Credit Union, Moose Lodge 668, Women of the Moose 746, Tri-State Marine Corps Club, Tri-State Marine Corps Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2716 and the VFW 2716 Ladies Auxiliary.