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Shepherdstown celebrates veterans

By Staff | Nov 11, 2011

Residents tied red, white and blue ribbons to the Veterans memorial tree. John Meeker helps daughter, Lucy, tie her ribbon. (Chronicle photo by Kelly Cambrel)

Local residents found ways to honor the nation’s military veterans as part of the national Veterans Day holiday Friday.

A small group of neighbors and friends came together with members of the Shepherdstown Police force, as well as Mayor Jim Auxer to honor disabled veterans with the dedication of a tree at Cullison Park.

The brief ceremony included remarks from mayor Auxer, public works director and Vietnam veteran Frank Welch and local residents Zenia Kuzma and Rosemarie Coy. Kuzma read aloud from a letter written by Jess Cullison, a disabled Vietnam veteran and son of Vera Cullison, who dedicated the land for use a town park.

In the letter Cullison wrote he hopes the red maple tree’s flourishing branches will represent the protection our veterans have offered this country.

“It will be a symbol of the sacrifice made by our veterans,” he said.

Thomas Shepherd Inn also honored veterans with a special veterans breakfast as part of a nationwide program that offers active and retired servicemen and women a free night’s stay at participating bed-and-breakfasts each year on the evening prior to Veterans Day.

According to Jeanne Muir, owner of the inn, the program, which she began along with a handful of other B&Bs around the state three years ago, is simply an opportunity to pay tribute.

“This is just a way that we give back,” she said.

The program, which has expanded to include B&Bs all over the country, serves as an opportunity for veterans to visit a new place and take part in its unique Veterans Day activities.

Dave Wellington, an Army veteran from Sterling, Va., traveled to the Thomas Shepherd Inn with his wife Lisa to take advantage of the special offer.

Wellington, who was participating in the program for the second time, said he was excited to be able to visit Shepherdstown in celebration of the holiday.

“West Virginia is very patriotic … This was perfect, ” he said.