Nov. 12, 2016
Jeff Saulton | Parkersburg News & Sentinel
VIENNA — After months of work in fundraising and ground preparation, the first development in the new Spencer’s Landing Park will be unveiled in a ceremony Sunday.
Mayor Randy Rapp said the Gold Star Families Memorial ceremony will include a number of groups and a special speaker.
“It will be a really nice affair, almost all the are military groups are coming,” he said. “Dr. Fletcher Lampkin, President of West Virginia University at Parkersburg, will be the master of ceremonies and Woody Williams, the Medal of Honor Recipient and founder of the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, will be the featured speaker.”
Rapp added five local individuals to be honored on the monument will be recognized: Amos Glenn Henson, Junior Ray Linch, Shirey Lionel “Mac” McMurray, Jack A. Nohe and Carl F. “Rick” Raab IV.
“We will also have the other nominees for the memorial,” he said. “We’ll have about 30 veterans honored.”
Also on hand will be Carlin’s Battery D with its two Civil War-era cannons and there will be music.
Rapp said it is Williams’ desire to have at least one Gold Star Families monument in every state.
“He was one of the men on Iwo Jima and his story is just so amazing when you listen to him talk,” he said. “He speaks many, many times to high school students and various groups around.
“Once we heard his message, the Minnite family with their Night of Giving took it one as one of their featured projects and raised the money for the monument and then the Williams foundation also contributed to it.”
Rapp said there were many other local contributors to the project. From there he said it just a matter of getting it built.
“We wanted this in the park for the river view,” he said. “It is absolutely fabulous.”
Now that the monument has been built, Rapp said work will begin on other improvement to the new park, such as walking trails and picnic shelters.
Rapp said in the future Spencer’s Landing and the monument will be the site for Veteran’s Day ceremonies.