Although the 2021 Run for the Wall had to be canceled due to the pandemic, the LZ Rainelle Veterans Reunion group was still able to hold a Memorial Day weekend full of events honoring those who have served.
According to information provided by LZ Rainelle, a smaller group of motorcycle riders rode into town on Thursday, May 28, as part of the “Remember Our Fallen Ride 2021” to Washington, D.C. Additionally, Task Force Omega of Kentucky, led by Danny “Greasy” Belcher arrived to help with a POW/MIA flag raising and to provide various services and programs town-wide.
Returning this year, the Mountaineer Veterans Garden of Honor, featuring over 11,000 American flags to honor each West Virginia soldier killed in action since World War I, was placed on the hill in front of the Rainelle Medical Center.
All of the flags were taken down Tuesday, but those with LZ Rainelle will be donating them to various organizations and to those who wish to place them at cemeteries.
Saturday, May 28, was a chilly, rainy day, but that did not stop many who came out to cheer on those participating in the Red, White & Blue themed parade.
Children participated in a “Future Freedom Riders” bicycle event. Winners were Lacey Lewis, first place; Jack Justice, second place; and, Luanna O’dell, third place, according to Emma Michelinie, co-chair of LZ Rainelle. A $50 prize was awarded to each winner.
The most patriotic and best overall float, along with a $100 prize, went to #48 Horse Drawn Wagon.
Unfortunately, the Carpenter Ants featuring Larry Groce performance was canceled, but LZ Rainelle is working on a date to reschedule, Michelinie said.
Also, the Gold Star Mothers were so honored to be in attendance, Michelinie added. They kept saying “We want to come back next year!”
As for the LZ Rainelle Memorial Day event, Michelinie said that she cannot wait to continue the event for years to come.
“I appreciate everybody for their support and for honoring our soldiers,” she said.