Harpers Ferry and Bolivar commemorate Veteran’s Day with annual parade, ceremony
HARPERS FERRY — As part of the annual Veteran’s Day commemoration in Harpers Ferry and Bolivar, the towns held the annual parade sponsored by the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry District Veterans on the morning of Nov. 12.
The event, though small, continues to draw the citizenry of both towns to share in honoring veterans for their service. Participants in the parade this year included Pete Dougherty, sheriff of Jefferson County, who led off the procession at the Harpers Ferry Post Office. Following came members of Jefferson High School’s JROTC with the Color Guard, the Harpers Ferry Middle School Band, a variety of veteran’s organization representatives and members of American Heritage Girls and Trail Life groups.
After the laying of the wreath by Harpers Ferry Mayor Wayne Bishop and Bolivar Mayor Helen Detmer, Bolivar-Harpers Ferry District Veteran President Perry Mentzer introduced guest speaker, Dr. Henry Christie.
Christie took the opportunity to point out that 2018 marks the 100thanniversary of the Armistice — the treaty ending World War I.
“I remember talking to my dad. He was 23 years-old when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and he went and enlisted to serve,” Christie said, mentioning his family has continued the tradition of military service through the years. “I served, my son served, I have a grandson who served and another grandson who is anxiously waiting to serve after his graduation in 2020.
“As veterans we take pride in being a part of the legacy of service,” Christie said. “We carry that into our civilian lives.”
Christie touched upon the plight of veterans, especially those from the Vietnam War, who came home to ridicule and activism facing attacks for their service.
“During the last couple of decades, these veterans have finally starting getting the recognition they deserve,” Christie said. “I encourage you, if you haven’t gone, or if you haven’t gone in a while, to visit that wall in Washington, D.C., where thousands of names are inscribed.”
Christie ended his presentation by showing two medals, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster (signifying being wounded in battle two different times). The medals belonged to a friend of Christie, a soldier who had no children with whom to bequeath the medals.
“His name was Fred W. Baker. He wanted me to share these after his passing, not for what he did to get them but for the sacrifice that all made,” Christie said.