Local Lifestyle, News

Paw Paw to host Annual Memorial Day celebrations, ceremonies

Paw Paw will once again host Morgan County’s main Memorial Day celebration, with the community presenting a car and tractor show, vendors, a memorial wreath-laying and service at Paw Paw’s veteran’s monument, and a parade.

The schedule of events is as follows:

9 a.m. 16th Annual Car & Tractor Show opens on the grounds of  Paw Paw Schools.

10 a.m. Harley Bohrer wreath laying at Woodrow Union Church Cemetery.

11 a.m. Memorial Service at Veteran’s Monument at 63 Winchester Street.

12 a.m. Parade lineup

1 p.m. 63rd William H. Norton Memorial Day Parade.

Grand Marshals

Paw Paw American Legion Post #128 and its entities have been selected as Grand Marshal of the 63rd William H. Norton Memorial Day Parade and will be represented by post member, James Clements and ladies auxiliary member, Peggy Sharp as well as Sons of the American Legion member, Tommy Kidwell on Saturday, May 27 beginning at 1 p.m. in Paw Paw.

Chartered on August 9, 1945, Paw Paw American Legion Post #128 was named in honor of Private Harley R. Bohrer.

Harley was born September 9, 1917 at Critton Hollow, West Virginia. Harley entered the Army on March 19, 1942. He trained at Fort Bragg and was assigned glider duty. On June 15, 1944 Harley was killed in action in France. His death came nine days after the D-Day invasion at Normandy Beach. He now rests in the Woodrow Church Cemetery.

Each year the American Legion Post #128 hosts a wreath ceremony at the Woodrow Church Cemetery at 10 a.m. during Paw Paw’s Annual Memorial Day events to honor Harley and all Americans who have fallen.

Sons of the American Legion

Tommy Kidwell

Tommy Kidwell is representing the Paw Paw American Legion Post #128 Sons of the American Legion (SAL).  He was a Social Member of the American Legion before becoming a SAL member. Kidwell was eligible to join the organization through his late father Gene Kidwell, a Korean War Purple Heart Award recipient.

Tommy Kidwell has been a SAL member for over 10 years. He has held both the Commander and Sergeant of Arms positions at different points of time.

He enjoys volunteering with the yearly picnic, upkeep of the veterans’ monument located in Paw Paw, and delivering Christmas baskets. He also enjoys fundraising so the SAL can donate funds to needy veteran families, community organizations, and local schools.

The SAL meet monthly.

Paw Paw American Legion Ladies Auxiliary

Peggy Sharp

Peggy Sharp is representing the Paw Paw American Legion Post #128 Ladies Auxiliary. She joined the Legion Auxiliary in 1989. She was eligible to join the organization through her late Vietnam Veteran husband James “Jim” Sharp.

Sharp has held all Auxiliary offices and chairmanships at Post # 128 at some point. In 1995, she served as the 10th District Vice President and was the 10th District President in 1997 and 1998. Sharp served on several committees with the Department of West Virginia Auxiliary and was the Historian for the state president in 1998 and 1999.

When we asked Peggy Sharp what her biggest accomplishment with the Auxiliary program she stated, “to support needy families and our veterans, local schools, library and other community services.”

She is also very proud that with the Paw Paw Post #128 Commander & Officer’s support she was the Post’s Secretary for 15 years.

The Ladies Auxiliary meet once a month and do several community events such as a Children’s Christmas party, host the Veteran’s Day dinner at the Legion, and deliver fruit baskets to town Veteran’s at Christmas.

American Legion Post #128

James Clements represents the Paw Paw American Legion Post #128. He is a life member of the American Legion and VFW. He is an Air Force Vietnam Era veteran.   His years of service were 1967 – 1971.  James went to Lackland Air Force Base for basic training, followed by a one-year training school at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado. His training was for the Radar weapons delivery system on the F-111A Fighter Bomber aircraft. After this training, he was assigned to the 428th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Clements spent

James Clements

six months in Vietnam and Thailand for combat testing of the aircraft.

Clements had a temporary duty assignment to Mountain Home AFB in Idaho and another in Australia for its F-111A program. He received the USAF Good Conduct Medal and Expert Marksman Award. His length of service was four years and six months due to an Early Enlistment program.  After receiving his Honorable Discharge as Sergeant E4, he worked for seven years at the Nevada Test Site in nuclear weapons instrumentation. The rest of his career was at various government contacts at worldwide locations.

Anyone interested in joining the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, or Ladies Auxiliary can contact the Legion at 304-947-7008 or come by and pick up an application.