WEIRTON Veterans Day has come and gone, but the City of Weirton believes American servicemen and women should be honored every day.
With that hope in mind, the city donated $2,500 for maintenance of the Brooke-Hancock County Veterans Memorial Park on Friday.
Mayor George Kondik extended a special thanks to Ward 4 Councilman George Ash Sr.
CHECK PRESENTED — Mayor George J. Kondik and Ward 4 Councilman George Ash Sr. recently exchanged a check on behalf of the City of Weirton to be used for maintenance of the Brooke-Hancock County Veterans Memorial Park. On hand were, from left, Ward 1 Councilman Ronnie D. Jones; Ward 6 Councilman David Dalrymple; Kondik; Ash; and Ward 2 Councilman Charles Wright. -- Shae Dalrymple
"He's been a real force for keeping citizens aware of our armed forces," Kondik said.
"We need to make sure we have a place to honor the memories of veterans of the past, present and future," said Ash, who served two tours in Vietnam. "Often when I come here I think of the guys who didn't make it back, and I get a little emotional."
The city recently replaced 34 broken commemorative bricks emblazoned with the names of area veterans, and they are working with the 336th Engineer Army Reserve Company to replace broken concrete slabs and install a drainage system next spring.
"This council has supported the park since its inception," Ash said.
Ward 1 Councilman Ronnie D. Jones has contributed personal funds to the park and has a vision for its future. He has opened up conversations with state Sen. Jack Yost, D-Wellsburg, and state Sen. Rocky Fitzsimmons, D-Wheeling, with the goal of eventually building a restroom and enclosing the pavilion at the park.
The park was acquired by Weirton in 1998 from the state of West Virginia on a lease. Some of the features there include a Marine helicopter, a plane flown in Vietnam and pieces of beams from the World Trade Center to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The site also boasts a tank assembled during World War II that was never used. It is the only tank from the time built in part by both the British and Americans.
"This is one of those hidden-in-plain-sight crown jewels the city has," Ward 6 Councilman David Dalrymple said. "I'd like to see more people come here to enjoy it."
The park is open to the public every day of the week and is available for any veterans organizations who want to use it.
(Dalrymple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)