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In appreciation of our veterans

November 11, 2012
By ESTHER MCCOY - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

The 11th month, the 11th day and the 11th hour, a time known as Veterans Day is being observed today by many veterans groups, the ones who believe this tradition should be carried on despite being a Sunday.

As Gary DeNoble, Adena American Legion Post 525 commander, said, "We want to observe it on the designated month, day and hour that was set at the end of World War I."

The Adena Legion will hold a brief program today at the Legion home starting at 10:30 a.m., with the solemn observance to be held at 11 a.m.

Article Photos

HONORED — The Jefferson County Veterans Association conducted a flag-raising ceremony at Friendship Memorial Museum on the first day of the Jefferson County Fair in August. They raised the flag at the gazebo opening ceremonies as well. Participating were, front, from left, Jack Campbell, Ron Brandfass, Jay Kolenc, Commander Bill Smythe, Don Richards, Paul Greene and Lamont McCoy; and back, Walter Jancura.
-- Esther McCoy

They also will attend a program Monday. This is hosted by students at Adena Elementary School who will be geared up to honor the soldiers who did so much for their country during World War I and have continued through all the wars to date.

Tiny Head Start youth came to the Legion home on Thursday to present a program for the veterans, their way of saying "Thank you for what you have done."

In April, the Adena Lions Club presented a musical production saluting veterans. Each song had a link to our men in uniform. The Adena American Legion was honored in one song, and they all came marching up to the stage - men and women from many wars and eras. It was impressive.

Darrin Young sang a tribute to two young ladies who were part of the U.S. Army, Nicole Hopkins McClure, who was injured in service, and Laura Wentworth.

I received an e-mail concerning a controversial Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross, commemorating selfless sacrifice by veterans that was taken down 13 years ago. This was after going through tumultuous litigation. It was removed and put in a box due to much controversy.

It will be raised again on Sunrise Rock in the Mojave Desert, in its original location, which is about two hours from Los Angles, and rededicated during an official Nov. 11 ceremony.

It was erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1934, honoring World War I veterans, and stood quietly for 67 years on the Mojave Desert land. It is the only World War I memorial designated by Congress as a national memorial.

An order ending the American Civil Liberty Union's lawsuit to have it removed paved the way for it to be transferred to the VFW organization so they could restore the memorial and return it to its original site.

This reminds me of visiting Arlington National Cemetery many years ago and seeing all the crosses, where each stood for a fallen soldier. This is America's hallowed burial ground for those who made our country free, and it was so very breathtaking to me.

The Jefferson County Veterans Association is constructing a Veterans Memorial Wall at the Fort Friendship Memorial Museum in Friendship Park. A brick to honor all veterans who have honorably served our great country can be purchased for $50 by sending a check to Tony Phillippi, 1341 county Road 15, Rayland, OH 43943.

The brick will accommodate 15 spaces per line on a three-line limit. Please signify if the honoree is or was a POW, MIA or KIA as well.

They have enough "purchased" bricks to fill the wall presently in place. Now wings are needed on the sides of the wall to include other names. It is a worthwhile and touching memorial to a relative or friend.

The county will hold its Veterans Day ceremonies at 3 p.m. today at Fort Friendship, with Charles Strizak, past district 10 commander, in charge of the program.

Part of the program will be dedicated to the memorial wall, where some of the bricks will be in place. This is part of the Veterans Day concept of honoring both those who served and returned and those who served but never came back.

The gigantic flag that is seen from a far distance will be raised in the ceremony, along with the flag stations of each branch of the military.

The Scio Museum has a section honoring veterans from Harrison County. Dee Ann Horstman is curator of the Main Street place of history. There is a khaki, wool uniform that looks as if it would be very uncomfortable to wear. But that was the least of the worries of soldiers in battle during World War II.

There are photos of men from the Harrison County area in their military uniforms looking so handsome and so young. Some never came back.

The Unionport Veterans Day program will be held at 7 p.m. today at the Community Center. Kathy Andersen will be the speaker, followed by refreshments. This would be a nice conclusion to a day created to remember all those who served and those who died for our country.

The Brilliant American Legion Post 573 has had and will continue to have a busy Veterans Day weekend. On Thursday, they visited the Buckeye Local Junior High School for a program. On Friday, they were at the Buckeye Local school for the high school students, presenting American Government Awards to deserving youth.

On Monday, they will be presenting an open house program at the Buckeye North Elementary School at 7 p.m. This is open to students, parents and area residents.

In conclusion, I just want to pay tribute to our friend of about 40 years, Bob Rish, a veteran of World War II. He told many stories of being stationed overseas and battles, and I wish I could remember more of them now. He came back to the area to do much service for our Smithfield community.

He was active in the Smithfield United Methodist Church; a member of the Smithfield American Legion Post 396; Smithfield Little League, as the league president, coach and manager; and as an officer and chairman of the Apple Festival.

Bob made the Great American Bed Race, held since the start of the festival, a big success.

It is ironic that when he became very ill two years ago, the race had to be canceled, and it was canceled this year due to a lack of interest after he died on May 22.

He was the one who pushed it, even paying the entry fee for young people to participate so it could be an interesting contest. I stood at the end of the finish line with him, timing beds as they rolled past the mark to decide the ending, and manned a stop watch for more than 20 years. He wanted to be sure each race was timed just right and that everyone had a chance to win. He made it exciting.

Being a veteran had nothing to do with this but I do know that it made him a wonderful person. You are truly missed, Bob.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be reached at

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