Hundreds gathered in Welch to honor veterans

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WELCH, WV (WVNS) — Hundreds of people gathered in the city of Welch to honor local veterans on Monday, November 11. This celebration marks the 101 year of Welch’s Veterans Parade.

Robin Pruit is a Welch resident of 48 years and loves to attend this celebration.

“It brings McDowell County people together. We come out to say we care about our veterans, we care about our county. We’ve lost a lot in this county, but this Veterans Day parade continues to go every year,” Pruit said.

Local high school bands played as cheerleaders and majorettes danced along. One band stepped out of their lines just to shake the hand of every veteran they passed. Of course, people in old cars, floats, and fire trucks threw candy to people on the sidewalk.

Shelly Mitchem is a Welch resident of 14 years, but this was her first time attending the parade. She said it will unfortunately be her last since she is moving in the upcoming year.

“I’m experiencing pure joy. To see all these men and women who have served for us and all these kids taking part in veteran’s day,” Mitchem said.

All of the veterans felt proud to be honored in such a patriotic way. One veteran was recognized in an extra special way on Monday. Phillip Cantrell is a resident of Man, West Virginia, and has been serving for 31 years. He was chosen to be the guest speaker for this veteran’s day celebration.

“101 years long. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this,” Cantrell said.

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