WEIRTON - Visitors to the veterans memorial near Three Springs Drive in Weirton will notice some new additions to the site, and on Friday veterans and local business leaders gathered to rededicate the monument.
In recent months, the members of Leadership Weirton's Class of 2013, in conjunction with the American Legion Post 10, have been working to raise funds for the purchase of new flags and benches to be installed at the memorial located near the Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The project was part of the Leadership Weirton program, operated by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, which requires each class to perform a community service project.
The American Legion purchased a new U.S. flag, with Leadership Weirton purchasing flags to represent the Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and POW/MIA.
"With these new flags, we remember every branch of the U.S. military and those who are prisoners of war or missing in action," Patty Soplinski, a member of this year's Leadership class, said.
Class member MaryLee Ammon explained the new benches would provide a place for residents, especially the family members of veterans, to sit and reflect while visiting the memorial.
Among the additions to the veterans memorial are new benches, many of which listed those local individuals and businesses who donated to the effort. -- Craig Howell
Catherine Ferrari, president and chief executive officer of Hancock County Savings Bank, served as the guest speaker, reflecting on the sacrifices and commitment of the nation's veterans and the contributions of the Leadership Weirton program during its 20-year history.
"These leaders are making a great impact on our community," Ferrari said.
Ferrari was a member of Leadership Weirton's inaugural class.
Additional photos can be found through our CU website.
She said it was fitting for the class to find a way to give back to the area's veterans, noting their lifetime commitment toward serving others.
"There is no greater hero than a man or a woman who serves others," Ferrari said.
Mayor George Kondik also was on hand, thanking everyone involved in the project.
"This class doing what they're doing with this community is great," Kondik said.
Members of the Leadership Weirton Class of 2013 are MaryLee Ammon, Larry DeRosa, DeeAnn Greene-Marszalek, Marisa Marino, Karen Mason, Jennifer McHenry, MaryLou Martire-Pittman, Renee Salkovick, Alecia Sirk, Patty Soplinski and Danielle Welshans.
Donors to the project include: Hancock County Savings Bank; an anonymous donor; Danny Greathouse and the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau; Ergon West Virginia; Starvaggi Industries; Gurrera Law Offices; Steel and Wolfe Funeral Home; Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort; United Steelworkers Union; Robinson and Son Construction; Fox's Pizza Den; Shirley Brecht; Tri-State Marine Corps Club Auxiliary; Joan Spano; Marsh Pipe and Supply; American Legion Post 10; The Lawn Barber; Bob Evans; Wal-Mart; Iannetti's Garden Center; Krazy Bout Sportz; the City of Weirton; Fairfield Inn and Suites; Randy Swartzmiller; Edwin J. Bowman; Century 21 Lane Realty; Irene Boby; Knights of Columbus 4th Degree; Rotary Club of Weirton Heights; Lorraine Soplinski; Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce; Knights of Columbus; Hancock County Senior Services; EMJ; Lillian Zellar and Art Chappell.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)