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Dedication of Fireman’s Memorial to Open This Year’s Fourth of July Parade in Welch

WELCH, W.Va. – The 2020 Welch Volunteer Fire Department’s Fireman’s Day Parade will be preceded by the dedication of the Welch Fireman’s Memorial Site at Station 2 in Edmore Village according to Welch Volunteer Fire Department’s Public Relations Office S. P. “Pat” McKinney.

“Chief Denny Hale and I were planning the annual parade and I commented we needed a Fireman’s Memorial in McDowell County similar to the Policeman’s Memorial at Gary. Chief Hale immediately said ‘Let’s Put it at Station 2 and start on it the Fourth.’”

The Memorial site will be marked by a plaque and wreath this year with a plaque and floral reef. A set of fireman’s boots and a helmet will also be at the site until the actual memorial can be built.

The design of the actual memorial will be three flag poles bearing the U.S. Flag, West Virginia Flag and the Fireman Thin Red Line Memorial Flag. At the base of each flag pole will be the figure of a fireman as though he had just slid down a firestation pole on way to a fire.

“Chief Hale believes it is in every fireman’s heart to slide down a station pole and run to a fire engine,” said McKinney. “We believe this tribute will be fitting.”

The ceremony will be at 11:30 a.m. on July 4th, 2020 with Lily Comer performing a song of dedication and the placing of a reef at the marker.

Immediately after, area fire Departments will line up at North Welch Church of God and a parade will travel from there to McDonald’s. The long parade route is through much of Welch’s residential area and allows families to view it from their front yards. Those that want to support the fire departments can join them at McDonald’s. Face masks are recommended for the meet and greet.

All area Fire Departments and Emergency Services are invited to participate.