COAL CITY, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – On Saturday, September 11, emergency service vehicles from multiple counties will join for the Parade of Lights- the largest memorial tribute in southern West Virginia for the fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services, military personnel and other victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The parade will depart from Independence High School in Coal City at 7:45 p.m.
Kevin Price, Fire Levy Director and Beckley Common Councilman for Ward IV, says the parade will feature hundreds of apparatuses belonging to the local departments of Raleigh County, Fayette County, Boone County, McDowell County, Kanawha County, Greenbrier County and more.
“They come from all over,” he said. “It’s cool, and it’s good to see the people coming together as one. To me, that’s the best part. There is nothing out there that is really dividing anybody because they are all there for one purpose, and that’s nothing more than to pay respects to those lost on that day.”
As the men and women silently drive from Independence High School through Sophia and Beckley, before stopping at the Linda K Epling Stadium in Beckley, Price says they shouldn’t work to remember the events of 9/11 but to never forget them.
“To me, there’s a big difference in never forgetting,” Price said. “It becomes a part of our lives which were forever changed on that date. What we really need to remember is how we felt in the days after. We were one. We were Americans. We weren’t Black or white, rich or poor, Republican or Democrat. We weren’t Christian or Jewish or atheist. We were all Americans, and that is what we really need to get back to so we can become the country that we once were.”
According to Price, the Parade of Lights, which should last approximately 45 minutes. will conclude at the stadium with a service, recognizing various people in the community.
“We hope to see everyone out there. This is why we are here,” he shared. “We invite the public out there. They are always invited to come out and share this time with us. Yes, the Parade of Lights is a memorial but its also for the people because it gives them a chance to say ‘thank you.’”
Questions about the event can be directed to Price at 304-573-9755 and Ryan Bragg with Best Ambulance at 304-252-5522.