A day to remember

INSTITUTE, W.Va. — West Virginia remembered those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country in various ceremonies on Memorial Day.

Veterans gather at War Memorial Park in Martinsburg Monday. (MetroNews Photo/Marsha Kavalek)

“Over the time that our veterans have served over 30,000 veterans have lost their lives,” Navy Veteran David Starliper, who served in Operation Desert Storm,” said at War Memorial Park in Martinsburg Monday.

Starliper told the Panhandle News Network the war dead gave their all and they’ve also helped keep other veterans alive.

“Because of our brothers and sisters who died overseas we’ve lessons of how to continue to strive for better outcomes,” Starliper said.

At the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery in Institute, Honor Guard President Donald Ryan took part in the 11th annual flag burning ceremony.

“For a flag that has seen it’s last days, it’s worn and tethered, you don’t just throw them in a garbage can, you retire them,” Ryan said. “One of the retirements is to burn them or bury them and we choose to burn them.”

The white grave markers at the Donel C. Kinnard Cemetery. (MetroNews photo/Chris Lawrence)

Flags are dropped off at he cemetery all year long. There were several hundred to burn on Monday.

“Throughout the year VFWs will bring theirs out here along with individuals. We’ve had flags from all over the place,” Ryan said.

There were a number of family members of deceased veterans who were making their way through the white headstones Monday. Ryan said there are many heroes buried there.

“Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” he said.

The ceremony at the Kinnard Cemetery included a gun salute and the playing of Taps.

A large crowd turned out the annual Memorial Day Parade in Grafton and the Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony at the Grafton National Cemetery.

MetroNews reporter Chris Lawrence and WEPM reporter Marsha Kavalek contributed to this story. 

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