Manchin Pays Tribute to Ritchie County Veterans on Appreciation Tour to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), in a Congressional Record Statement, proudly recognized 20 Veterans from Ritchie County, West Virginia who traveled to the nation’s capital today to visit the memorials that were built in their honor. The Veteran Appreciation Tour included wreath-laying ceremonies at the Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial and the World War II Memorial. They also toured the Arlington National Cemetery and had private time for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Senator Manchin also praised Ritchie County High School senior Kirsten Seese for coordinating the Veteran Appreciation Tour as her senior project.
“Today is truly a special day for our Veterans and their families from Ritchie County to visit our nation’s capital and the monuments built to commemorate their service. It is my distinct honor to pay tribute to them today for defending our nation and protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans,” Senator Manchin said. “I am also so proud of Kirsten Seese for bringing this group of Veterans together. She has truly set an example for her generation by giving back to those who have served and she has made an enormous impact on the lives of our Veterans through this trip.”
Senator Manchin wrote the following statement in the Congressional Record:
M. President, I rise with overwhelming pride to recognize a group of courageous Veterans from Ritchie County, West Virginia who are visiting our nation’s capital this Thursday. On behalf of our state and nation, it is a true honor and privilege to recognize these heroic men and women and their families for their brave service and sacrifice as they tour the memorials built in their honor.
I’ve always said that West Virginia is one of the most patriotic states in this great nation, and we are so proud of the number of Veterans and active duty members who have served our country with honor and distinction. The 20 Veterans and their family members who are traveling to Washington, D.C. embody our state’s history and contributions to the freedom of this nation. They may represent different generations of warriors, but no matter the war or the era, no matter the rank, each and every one of them courageously answered the call of duty to defend our nation and protect the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. In our time of need, they stepped forward and said, “I’ll do it – I’ll protect this country.”
This trip will be a truly moving and special experience for these Veterans, many of whom have never been to the memorials that were built for their service. It will include wreath-laying ceremonies at the monuments that commemorate the wars in which many have served, including the Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial and the World War II Memorial. They will also be touring the Arlington Cemetery and have private time for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
M. President, it is also tremendously important to recognize that this visit would not have been possible without the hard-work and determination of an inspirational young Ritchie County native, Kirsten Seese. Kirsten is a Ritchie County High School senior who aspires to be a nurse one day. She was inspired to coordinate this trip, as her pre-nursing senior project after hearing about a group of Veterans that had recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials sponsored by their community.
Kirsten wasted no time. She went to businesses in Ritchie County with the goal of organizing a 100 percent free Veteran’s Appreciation Tour. In just three weeks, Kirsten raised enough money for 20 Veterans, their family members and local volunteers to visit to Washington, D.C. absolutely free. They will not have to pay for any meals or refreshments and will receive a commemorative shirt and a hat. The funding will also go towards the wreaths for the ceremonies that will be held at each memorial and a group photo at the Capitol to commemorate their special day.
I am so proud of Kirsten. She has truly set an extraordinary example for her generation by giving back to those who have served this country and those who have protected our freedoms. It is the devotion and drive of young people like Kirsten that bring our communities together. I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors, and I commend her for making an enormous impact on the lives of our Veterans through this Veterans Appreciation Tour.
M. President, I am filled with pride every time I meet the patriots who have served our country, and I am so pleased to welcome West Virginia’s most courageous Veterans, who are all heroes, to Washington, D.C. I encourage all of my colleagues to join me in saluting them. They truly inspire us all as we are reminded of their selfless service. It is because of their bravery that all Americans enjoy the greatest liberties and freedoms in the world. We whole-heartedly thank them.
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