CHARLESTON, W.Va. – On Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, members of the George Washington High School JROTC in Charleston will present “A Veterans Day Commemorative” in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The program will begin at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The 2018-19 JROTC classes at GWHS prepared more than 20 biographies to accompany names in the West Virginia Veterans Memorial database. Among their subjects are West Virginians who perished in Vietnam or the Gulf Wars and Panama conflicts. Students will present the findings of their veterans’ biography research projects, narrating the personal histories and background of their subject. As part of the commemoration, the color guard will be on hand.

These biographies represent several major accomplishments. All West Virginia Medal of Honor recipients and West Virginians who perished in the Gulf Wars and Panama conflicts (late 20th century) now have biographies. Students are encouraged to locate family members and interview them, but sadly this is not always possible. This crop of bios does include the valued contributions of several family members.

For more than five years, students at GWHS have been contributing biographies to the West Virginia Veterans Memorial project. The student project began with the Advanced Placement U.S. History class. This is the third year the JROTC has participated under the direction of instructors MAJ (Ret) Terrill B. McGee and SFC (Ret) Johnathan Normand. This service-learning project gives students a real-world writing experience that requires them to research their veteran’s personal life, his or her community, and military history.

The 2019-2020 classes will focus on selected Vietnam veterans, and their research is underway. With more than 11,000 names on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial, many are still waiting to be researched. West Virginia Archives and History welcomes anyone who has knowledge of a West Virginia casualty of 20th-century wars to contribute that information, either in the form of a fully written article or through documents that can be turned into a story about that veteran.

For additional information, contact Archives and History at (304) 558-0230.