Veterans’ museum puts on cookout

PARKERSBURG – More than 100 people attended the sixth annual Memorial Day Cookout to honor veterans held in City Park on Monday afternoon.

The cookout is a way of saying thank you to all of the veterans in the Mid-Ohio Valley, said Gary Farris, founder and director of the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The museum is located at 1829 Seventh St., and features the personal stories of dozens who served the country over the past centuries, Farris said.

“We had a great turnout this year,” he said of Monday’s event.

Last year’s event was marked by rain, which kept many veterans away, Farris said. The good weather this year brought many out to enjoy the food and the company of veterans.

“We need to thank our veterans,” Farris said. “It is important to honor those men and women who fought wars for our country.”

When Farris first opened the Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley, people weren’t thanking veterans for their service, he said. He is happy to see times have changed.

The Rev. Jeffrey Cline was impressed with the turnout at Monday’s picnic, which coincided with an open house at the museum.

“I’m happy to see our veterans and citizens of Parkersburg coming together to honor the nation’s fallen heroes,” Cline said.

Dan Moore, an Air Force veteran from Marietta, enjoyed lunch with his family at the event.

“This is my first time with this group. I’m happy to see that so many came out to honor veterans,” he said.

Several area businesses and residents made donations toward the cookout, Farris said. All of the food was either donated or purchased with monetary donations for the event.

The Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley holds three events annually to honor veterans in the area, Farris said. In March, it sponsors a “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” day, the Memorial Day cookout and a Veterans Day celebration in November.

The Veteran’s Museum has recently been redesigned, and now takes a couple of hours to tour through properly.