The Treaty of Versailles between the Allies and Germany was signed to end World War I, the Great War, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November, 1918. Honoring that event and all those who have served in the Armed Forces since that time, celebrations were held around Jefferson County Monday.
The Bolivar-Harpers Ferry District Veterans once again hosted their annual parade on Washington Street in Bolivar as the participants made their way from the post office to Harpers Ferry Middle School. Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and members of the American Heritage Girls joined in the festivities along with the middle school band who leads the parade each year, the town mayors of Bolivar and Harpers Ferry and the Veterans.
Providing a poignant speech was Col. Jim Currie (Ret.). Currie served four years on active duty with the U.S. Army and retired from the Army Reserve after 30 years of service. His speech called for all those in attendance to contact their legislative leaders to demand that Veterans receive proper care. He explained the long waiting lists at Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers and shared his belief that Veterans are not a priority of the current Administration, including the president, because a majority of those individuals did not serve in the military.
Echoing similar statements, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito served as the guest speaker at the Charles Town ceremony at Jefferson Memorial Park. Capito also stressed the need to take care of the Veterans who come back from serving their country, especially those who are wounded, whether it be physical wounds or wounds one cannot see.
"We can't expect those who serve to come home without help for wounds," she said. "Ones you can and cannot see." She spoke about the suicide rate among veterans, calling it "troublesome."
"We all need to worry about that.," she said.
Capito also stressed the need to continue to offer education to returning Veterans so that they can be productive members of the community.
"Many of these individuals signed up because of the educational benefits," she said. "We have to make sure those are available."
Following the ceremony at the park which also included the laying of wreaths by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3522, american Legion Post 71, Daughters of the American Revolution, Beeline Chapter and the Jefferson Air Force JROTC, all were invited back tot he American Legion Post in Charles Town for a complimentary soup and sandwich lunch. Dozens of Veterans gathered and shared stories during the lunch.
In Shepherdstown, the Opera House hosted a showing of Bob Hope's Salute to the Troops. In his 50 years of entertaining American GI's around the world, Bob "Globetrotter" Hope logged enough miles to travel back and forth to the moon a dozen times.