WILLIAMSON – Action in Mingo (AIM) plans to hold its annual Memorial Day festivities in downtown Williamson on Monday, May 30.
Since 2019, AIM has hosted Memorial Day events in downtown Williamson to honor service to local veterans. The festivities are usually divided into two events: a recognition ceremony and a parade.
The recognition includes a flag folding ceremony, the playing of patriotic music and the presentation of a pin and flag to each veteran in attendance. Last year, the music was provided by the band from Tug Valley High School. AIM director Jada Hunter said the group was invited back this year and the group also hopes to have a choir.
The laying of the wreath on the Veterans Memorial at the Mingo County Courthouse is also usually part of the program.
Following the recognition program, a parade marches down 2nd Avenue in downtown Williamson in which veterans ride through town on a flatbed trailer. Local fire departments, police, ROTC and other programs are also included.
Hunter, speaking at the regular session of the Williamson City Council on Thursday, Feb. 10, said the group wanted to send a sign-up sheet to every town in the county to search for veterans. Additionally, every Mingo County mayor is invited to the event each year.
Mayor Charlie Hatfield offered to provide Hunter with a Veterans Administration contact who could provide mailers to veterans in the Mingo and Pike County areas.
Hunter came to city council intending to seek approval for the event, but Hatfield said he did not need council approval.
Instead, he asked Hunter to provide dates and information to City Clerk Cheri Horton and City Events Coordinator Tonya Webb and from there Hunter can continue to organize the event.
2022 will be the third year that AIM will host Memorial Day events. They were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.