Sistersville Sets Heroes Day Observances Sept. 10-13
SISTERSVILLE – A celebration to honor emergency personnel, which began in Sistersville, will now be recognized statewide after the adoption of House Resolution 16 during the 2015 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature.
“Heroes Day,” which began in 2011 to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, will be held on the second Saturday of September, is a tribute to firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical service workers who are dedicated to helping those in need and protecting the public.
Delegate Roger Romine, R-Tyler, was the primary sponsor of this resolution and championed its advancement last session.
“Emergency personnel, police, EMS, firefighter, etc., serve the public in ways that we could never repay for the sacrifices they make,” Romine said. “Especially here in West Virginia, where a majority of our fire departments are volunteer departments serving rural communities, we must acknowledge the good work and services they provide to our communities.”
This year’s Heroes Day in Sistersville will actually involve four days of events. Beginning on Sept. 10, the West Virginia Vietnam Veterans Traveling Wall will be escorting by police, fire and Patriot Guard Riders from the Pleasants-Tyler County line into Sistersville.
Then on Sept. 11, the wall will be set up at 8 a.m. at Sistersville City Park; the wall will then be on display from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; at 7 p.m., local veterans organizations will hold a POW/MIA service at the park; a local barbershop quartet will provide patriotic music following the service. At 8 p.m. the wall will be dismantled and head to Lewis County.
Names listed on the wall are only from West Virginia and includes those who were killed in action, held as prisoners of war, and those still missing in action in South Vietnam, North Vietnam, its seaways and theater of operation. During the POW/MIA ceremony, the names of those from Tyler, Wetzel, Pleasants, Doddridge and Ritchie counties will be read.
The wall lists more than 732 West Virginians, but veterans of the Vietnam War believe that more names could be entered on the wall.
“We’re looking for people not on the wall,” Chavis Miller, Vietnam Veterans Chapter 308 Board of Director member, said. “Many moved to other parts of the country when they got out of high school to find jobs. Whatever state they were in when they left to go to the military then their name would be listed under that state. But if anyone died that was from West Virginia during the conflict then we need to know it.”
Miller gave the example of Frankie Molnar. Molnar was raised in West Virginia, but was living in New Jersey when he was drafted. Molnar is honored with a memorial bridge located on U.S. 119 between Fountain Place Mall and the Whitman exit of Logan County.
All area police, fire and EMS organizations have been invited to take part in the four days of events. For questions, call Bill Dawson (chaplain) at 304-771-5161 or Jason Wayne (chief) at 304-815-3703 or 304-652-7131.