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Honoring Freedom

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CYANMAGENTAYELLOWBLACK 2 Honoring Freedom • Supplement to Sunday Gazette-Mail • June 30, 2013 Photo by CRAIG CUNNINGHAM Kenny Bright, left, and Clem Pemberton from the Winfield American Legion look at the pictures of servicemen hanging on the wall at Yeager Airport following a ceremony there. The pictures are of servicemen who died in a plane crash in 1951. Benny Mallory, owner of Mallory's Airport in South Charleston, served with the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1954. He is seated second from the left in this photo. Yeager Airport, military retirees honor state veterans Yeager Airport and the West Virginia Military Retirees Association are looking for photos of West Virginia veterans. The airport, along with the association, dedicated a Wall of Honor for West Virginia veterans near the baggage claim. This area features framed photographs of West Virginia veterans submitted by the public to the WVMRA. Photos submitted to the WVMRA are processed, labeled, framed and displayed on the Wall of Honor for approximately one month. At the end of the month, photos are archived and another group of veterans are displayed. In order to qualify for Wall of Honor display, photos need to be 8 x 10 and must include a form that shows proof of service. Photographs may be black and white or full color. Veterans' photos can include those deceased, separated/retired or still serving. Photos will not be returned. To obtain the submission form, please email or visit Kanawha Valley communities offer plenty of choices to celebrate holiday By Charles Young DAILY MAIL STAFF Communities across the Kanawha Valley will offer residents a variety of ways to celebrate Independence Day this year. Charleston will have its celebrations a day early, on Tuesday, July 3. The city will set off its annual show at 9:45 p.m. from two locations. Smaller fireworks will launch from just below Haddad Riverfront Park, where Live on the Levee events are held. Larger fireworks will be set off from a site farther south on MacCorkle Avenue. The fireworks will last 15 to 20 minutes. "For the holiday week, it'll be the largest fireworks display in the region," said Rod Blackstone, assistant to the mayor. "It'll be a nice way to kick off the long weekend." Blackstone said a free concert from the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will begin at 8 p.m. at Haddad Park before the display. Pyrotecnico, a fireworks company based out of New Castle, Pa., that has handled Charleston's fireworks in the past, will set off the display. During the fireworks, MacCorkle Avenue in the vicinity of the launch sites will be closed to traffic. Kanawha Boulevard between Capitol and Court streets will also be closed. The West Virginia Power will also have a fireworks display on the actual holiday. Following next Thursday's game against the Lexington Legends there will be a concert by the Davisson Brothers Band and fireworks sponsored by AT&T and West Virginia Radio Corp. Thursdays at Appalachian Power Park are also "Thirsty Thursdays," where fans can get 12 oz. draft beers for $1 and 16oz. cans for $2. Tickets for the Power game are $5 for general admission seating and $7 for box seating. Gates open at 6:05 p.m., and the game begins at 7 p.m. Appalachian Power Park also has its recurring "Fireworks Friday" promotion, so fans will also have the opportunity to see another display Friday night. Other cities around the Kanawha Valley will also have their own Fourth of July celebrations. St. Albans will have its annual Riverfest celebration this weekend, culminating in fireworks. To mark the actual holiday, the city will host a "4th of July Extravaganza" at City Park Pool from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will include food, music and prize giveaways. Admission is free. The city of Montgomery, located along the Kanawha River in both Fayette and Kanawha counties, will offer free admission to Montgomery City Pool all day on the Fourth. From 7 to 10 p.m. a DJ will provide music on the Grassy Knoll, a park on Fayette Pike. Free ice cream will be available to attendees. Following the music, members of the Montgomery Fire Department will set off the city's fireworks. Hurricane in Putnam County will have an Independence Day Parade starting at 4 p.m. July 4 on Main Street. There will be free activities and food vendors at Valley Park from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at dusk. Buffalo in Putnam County will have a parade through town at 1 p.m. on July 4. Live entertainment featuring bluegrass and gospel music, food booths and inflatables will be offered at Buffalo Memorial Park after the parade from 2 to 10 p.m. The Buffalo fire department will set off fireworks at 10 p.m. Contact writer Charles Young at or 304-348-1796. Army Col. Roscoe Allen Swann Dallas Mallory served in Korea with the Army. Marine Bert Hertel was a drill sergeant at Parris Island, S.C., and a tank commander in Korea. Courtney Lewis, South Charleston High School Junior ROTC Carl Nelson Edwards served in Germany with the Army in 1957. Army Cpl. James M. Norrell died in action in 1945 at the age of 30. Dana Homer Walker served in the Marine Corps and died in the 1950s while stationed in the Philippines. COMMENTARY Watching people watch the 'West Virginia Voices of War' documentary I spent the last 15 months working on a documentary about West Virginia war veterans. All together, I spent well over 500 hours, Eric traveled more Douglas than 2,000 miles and interviewed 46 veterans for the project. Approximately 140 people showed up at the recent premiere of the documentary. While it was gratifying to see that many people there, it was also a nerve-wracking experience. I didn't sit down the entire time. I stood in the back of the room and paced, holding my breath at each emotional high point, hoping it would affect everyone in the room the way I expected. I was fortunate that about 30 of the veterans I interviewed were present. A couple of people told me that one of the most interesting parts of the presentation was watching the reactions of the veterans themselves. They told me about tears and difficult expressions on faces. I didn't set out to make anyone upset, but it was rewarding to know that it touched them on a personal level. One friend interviewed for the project commented that it "neither demonized nor deified the veterans. It just told the story." My goal all along was to have veterans, the ones I interviewed and others, look at me afterward and say, "You got it right." I hope I got it right. As I conducted the interviews for this project, I was struck by the similarity of the experiences of each of the veterans, regardless of the war or the branch of service. I decided to allow the veterans to tell their own stories in their own voices; not stories of war, but stories of men and women placed in impossible situations who did their best to remain true to themselves and to make it home for their families as well as for those who didn't. "West Virginia Voices of War" was far from a solitary project. I owe a great deal of thanks to my family and friends for helping out, especially when it came time to roll it out: getting refreshments for the reception, distributing books, putting out more chairs when it became readily apparent about 15 minutes before we were ready to start that there weren't enough. There is no way to repay that support. Thanks also to the sponsors who made the event possible: Emmanuel Baptist Church for providing the venue and Industrial Bolting Technologies, Ray Winton and Kelley PLLC, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Sinclair, JD and Becky Pauley and Danny Blair for their donations. That support allowed me to give copies of the companion book, "Common Valor," and a DVD of the documentary to each of the veterans I interviewed, along with a recording of their interviews. They also paid for the refreshments, flyers, letters and publicity postcards. A big thank you to Jeff Ellis, a veteran of Iraq, for allowing me to use his song, "The Line," in both the opening and closing of the documentary. You can watch the entire "West Virginia Voices of War" documentary on my website for free: Veterans groups interested in showing the documentary as a fundraiser for their local organization should contact me and we will set up a time. Eric Douglas of Charleston is an author whose latest novel is "Wreck of the Huron," latest Kindle Novella is "Sea Monster" and latest children's book is "Swimming with Sharks." Links for the books can be found at his website, Earl "Knute" Bryant, U.S. Navy YN2, served from April 1966 to June 1970 with the USS Orion AS 18, Squadron Six, VC6. Ernest "Bud"Samples was an Army helicopter mechanic in Vietnam. Sid Mallory, U.S. Army Would like to THANK ALL MILITARY PERSONNEL and THEIR FAMILIES FOR THEIR SERVICE and SACRIFICE FOR OUR FREEDOM The UPS Store 3501 MacCorkle Avenue SE • Kanawha City 304-720-8777 CYANMAGENTAYELLOWBLACK Hours: M-F 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

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