PARKERSBURG - It was a time to remember the sacrifices made by those in uniform for the freedoms Americans enjoy everyday.
The Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley held an open house Monday at 1829 Seventh St. and held a picnic Sunday at Veterans Park near the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport in honor of local veterans.
There was a steady stream of people through the Veterans Museum Monday, said Gary Farris, museum director.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
Sandra Rexroad of Marietta looks over an Army uniform Monday at the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley during an open house in Parkersburg.
"People are browsing and looking at the displays," he said.
There were several hundred people at the event at Veterans Park Sunday, which included a climbing wall, cannon display and demonstrations by Carlin's Battery D Civil War re-enactors, food, Bluegrass band Forever Young, static displays by local units and more. The event was free to veterans and active duty military personnel.
"It was probably the best event we have ever put on," Farris said. "We had so many people out there."
There are plans of making the picnic an annual event starting next year.
Between the picnic and some bad weather Monday, Farris said they did not have as big a crowd at the museum Monday as they have had in the past, but they still had quite a few people.
"We want everyone to remember the veterans and what they have sacrificed for this country," Farris said.
Farris said more needs to be taught to today's younger people about the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
"They get some World War II in school," he said. "I don't think they get enough of the Korean War or enough of the Vietnam War.
"They are getting educated on almost a daily basis about what is going on now (in Afghanistan)."
Farris said many of the Korean War veterans did not get the huge parades that were given at the end of World War II for returning troops, but they weren't spit on and mistreated the way some Vietnam War veterans were. The Korean veterans have almost been forgotten by many.
"It is sad those veterans were not honored more," Farris said. "If you look, there are hardly any books or movies on it. There should be more."
The museum has many items donated from local families including uniforms, equipment, pictures, memorabilia and more.
"The people of the Mid-Ohio Valley have been great," Farris said. "(In donating things) they are thinking of the veteran who owned that particular item and people want them honored. That is what we do."
Many people who came to the museum Monday saw the event advertised and wanted to stop in and see the museum.
Gela and Jack Roberts of Wood County came to the museum for the first time Monday. Jack was a veteran of the Navy, serving during the Korean War.
"We thought we would come out today," Gela Roberts said. "We have been wanting to come out and we never had.
"It is really nice. There is a lot of information here."
Jack felt the museum might be a good place to donate some of his old service items.
"I am getting old and I am going to have to do something with it," he said.
The museum has markers placed around the different items detailing who owned and used the items on display as well as their service.
Sandra Rexroad of Marietta came by the museum for the first time Monday as a way to honor her late husband, Ross Rexroad who was an Army engineer with the 20th Engineer Brigade 169th Engineer Battalion. He served in Vietnam from 1968 and 1970. He died over nine years ago from Agent Orange-related cancer, his wife said.
"I like to do something for Veterans Day," Rexroad said. "This is when my holiday season begins. My holiday season doesn't begin with Thanksgiving, it begins with Veterans Day."
She appreciated the community cared about the service of the area's military veterans in that many local families donated something that belonged to someone who served and it is on display in the museum.
"It shows the values of the area," Rexroad said.