Honoring those who have served is just one mission of the LZ Rainelle West Virginia Veterans’ Reunion group. They also want to make sure that West Virginians who have sacrificed their lives in military service for this country are not forgotten.
In order to help achieve this goal, LZ Rainelle is once again partnering with City National Bank to honor Gold Star mothers and fathers with a special ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 13.
According to Emma Michelinie, co-chair of LZ Rainelle, the ceremony will be held inside Rainelle City National Bank on Saturday, Nov. 13, beginning at noon. Everyone is invited to attend.
Just before the ceremony, West Virginia Gold Star families will be decorating the Christmas “Honor and Remember Tree,” featuring ornaments with images of their son or daughter who lost their life while serving.
There will be a total of 58 images of fallen soldiers on the Christmas tree, Michelinie stated. The christmas tree will be on display inside Rainelle City National Bank until the New Year.
As for the ceremony, Michelinie said those with LZ Rainelle want to “make it special” for the Gold Star families.
“This helps them—having their child being remembered,” Michelinie said of the West Virginia Gold Star families. “I have met them all and they are all very special to say the least.”
In addition to the ceremony, there will be hot cocoa, hot apple cider and a performance by the LZ Rainelle Country Kickers. Later, the Gold Star families will head over to Greenbrier West High School where they will receive a meal prepared by the culinary students in Chef Chris Foley’s class, Michelinie continued.
Because the holidays can be an especially hard time for Gold Star families, LZ Rainelle is also sponsoring a Christmas Card drive so that each West Virginia Gold Star family will receive a Christmas card this year.
Michelinie explained that there are five noticeable boxes placed at City National Bank locations in Greenbrier and Raleigh counties, including the Park Avenue and Eisenhower Drive locations in Beckley, the downtown and North Lewisburg locations and at the Rainelle location.
Anyone who wishes to send a Christmas card to a Gold Star family only has to drop it off at any of the locations listed, she said. Members of LZ Rainelle will ensure that the cards make it to a Gold Star family. A self-addressed stamped envelope may be included for return correspondence.
“Last year we sent out 1,000 cards,” Michelinie noted. She added that many West Virginia Gold Star mothers are older and do not have family left.
“This makes a big difference for them,” Michelinie said. The Christmas cards let them know that they are not alone and that their child is not forgotten.
The deadline to drop a card off is Dec. 15.