KINGWOOD — Veterans from all branches of service were honored Thursday at a program held on the lawn of the Preston County Courthouse.
The observance was hosted by the Preston County Honor Guard and Vietnam Veterans Post 977. The honor guard consists of members from all the County Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts.
A musical tribute of patriotic songs, including the Star Spangled Banner, was performed by Lori Ranking. A wreath was placed by Karen Kurilko, representing the Daughters of the American Revolution. Her escort was veteran Leonard Snyder.
Roughly 100 residents were in attendance.
Jerry Vance, a Vietnam veteran, said he came to the observance to honor all past and present veterans.
“I was in the Marine Corps throughout Operation Enduring Freedom,” veteran Brandon Mikalik said. “I came here to honor my fallen comrades and the sacrifice they made for our country.”
“My husband Bob is a veteran,” Brenda Feck said. “He is here serving as Officer of the Day. I come to support him and all of the other veterans that served.”
“We’re here to honor all veterans,” veteran Jim Savage said. “Because of them, we’re able to come out and honor all those who have gone before. It’s a thanks to all those who died so we can be here today.”
The program included a traditional three-shot rifle volley, Taps, and a prayer for all those who have served and are now serving, and those who are still missing in action.
Although sometimes confused, a 3-volley salute is comprised of 3-7 rifles and is an honor presented at the funerals of those who have served, while a 21-gun salute is a customary courtesy presented to high-ranking officials and dignitaries such as presidents, foreign dignitaries, generals, admirals, and during some holidays.