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Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley marks National Military Appreciation Month

April D. Binkney, who is affiliated with the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley, poses with the 600 American flags at a memorial to commemorate National Military Appreciation Month. The memorial is near the end of Point Drive off West Virginia 95. The flags will remain up in May. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

PARKERSBURG — The Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley is observing the end of World War II in Europe and other veterans recognitions through the commemoration of May as National Military Appreciation Month.

Among the celebrations are:

* May 1: Loyalty Day, a day about the heritage of American freedom.

* May 3-9: Public Service Recognition Week to honor those serving federal, state and local governments.

* May 8: Victory Day in Europe, marking the surrender of Germany, ending the war in Europe.

April D. Binkney with the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley displays memorabilia from World War II veterans. The Eisenhower jacket was worn by a paratrooper and the pillow is made from a uniform of a seaman. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

* May 8: Military Spouse Appreciation Day, which recognizes the role families play in keeping the American military strong.

* May 16: Armed Forces Day, commemorating those in service to the country.

* May 25: Memorial Day.

The museum is supporting the month by creating a memorial of flags, sharing letters from local veterans, creating a bear from military uniforms and producing Military Appreciation Bracelets, April D. Binkney, secretary of the Veterans Museum board.

The flag memorial is located on Point Drive along the Little Kanawha River near West Virginia 95 and Interstate 77, Binkney said.

It consists of 600 flags, she said.

“I’m very passionate about this,” Binkney said.

Binkney said a visit to the beaches of Normandy made her realize the sacrifices made by veterans.

“If it wasn’t for our young men and women standing up for what we believe in today,” where would we be today,” said Binkney, who can trace her family to the Revolutionary War.

Few veterans of World War II are still alive, which is why the Veterans Museum strives to memorialize their stories, she said. People can honor the veterans by, when possible, visiting them or sending them a card, particularly at the veterans home in Clarksburg, she said.

“Stop by and talk to them,” Binkney said.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.

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