By Hayley M. Cook
MAHER - This Memorial Day weekend, families went to Mountain View Memory Gardens Cemetery at Maher to remember their loved ones who had passed on.
Many brought flowers, small flags, and crosses to decorate the graves of relatives and military members who had passed on. Faye Arrington was visiting her mother and son.
“This is my son,” she said, pointing to a bronze-plated headstone. “Today would have been his birthday.”
Arrington wasn’t the only person remembering a lost family member. Peggy Keith Harper was visiting her mother, Buelah Keith, a former Mingo County school teacher.
“She is desperately missed by her two daughters,” Harper said as she placed flowers on the grave. “She (Keith) had two brothers who served in the military.”
Ray Robertson Jr. and Diana Maynard were there visiting their father, Ray Robertson, a World War II vet. He was a sergeant in the Army and a holder of both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals.
Others at the cemetery reflected on what Memorial Day means to them personally. Oscar Skeens, a veteran who was delivering flowers, said this about the holiday: “Memorial Day is for the veterans. I cry a lot. I spent a year in Vietnam.”
Skeens then went on to discuss his wife, who is buried at Huddy Cemetery, but teared up before he could say much about her.
“She died in 2012, and it’s still hard to talk about it,” he said.
On both Saturday and Sunday, the Maher and Huddy cemeteries celebrated Memorial Day with a Veteran’s Ceremony and balloon release, to remember loved ones who gave everything for our freedom. A three-volley salute was given at the end to cap off a weekend of remembrance.
All of these people and more have been remembering their loved ones and reflecting on what our servicemen and women have done for our country.
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., released the following statement about Memorial Day:
“Each year, on Memorial Day, Americans pause to pay their respects to the courageous men and women who answered the nation’s call to duty. Each year, we stand hands over hearts along parade routes, and heads bowed at flag-planted grave sites. Legions of our own sons and daughters have marched from West Virginia’s hills and hollows, not to seek personal glory, but to protect our freedoms and to help build a better world. While no memorial erected by man can ever pay adequate tribute to the sacrifices made by our veterans, we can, by our word and deed, continue their mission. Let us then, on this Memorial Day, remember our fallen heroes with our own solemn pledge to keep secure the liberties they fought to protect, and to further their goal of a better world for future generations.”
Law enforcement agencies caution drivers to be safe on Memorial Day, one of the busiest traffic days of the year.