Governor Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice hosted a “Once and Future Patriots West Virginia youth salute to veterans” ceremony at the WV Capitol Complex’s Culture Center Theater on Nov. 8 in advance of Veterans Day.  Complete video of event can be seen blow.

The West Virginia National Guard’s 249th Army Band performed patriot songs throughout the afternoon, and WV Arts, Culture & History Curator Randall Reid-Smith served as the programs host.

On display at the ceremony were 20 winning cards submitted by school children from West Virginia for First Lady Cathy Justice’s Thank a Veteran contest. Children from the third, fourth, and fifth graders from 54 schools from across WV (from 24 counties) created over 2,700 cards for this years First Lady’s Artist Series. The cards will be given to veterans in honor of Veterans Day

The Nitro High School student and Nitro teacher that jointly became the first West Virginians honored to earn entry into the Albert H. Small Normandy Institute.   This program focuses on World War II’s D-Day invasion and the selected teams help preserve the memory of a particular service member who gave all during the Campaign at Normandy.     Staff Sgt. Mitchell Woods Bacon (West Virginian), a US Army Air Corps radio operator who died when his plane was shot down on June 7, 1944 was the service member that Nitro High Senior Emily Rinick and teacher Kizmet Chandler was assigned to focus on.  

Nitro High’s Show Choir & Air Force Junior ROTC Honor Guard carried out spotless performances for those who attended.

Joining the governor and first lady was joined by the Veterans Assistance Secretary Dennis Davis, Military Affairs & Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy, and general counsel to the governor and WV Army National Guard Lt. Col. Brian Abraham.