WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — The Wheeling American Legion Post 1 held their annual Veterans Day Ceremony today at Wesbanco Arena.

7News reporter Jake McGlumphy was at the ceremony and shares the meaning and importance of today. 

Every year on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, veteran organizations across the country gather to celebrate and honor the end of World War 1 and all the individuals who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Today, the oldest American Legion post in the country, American Legion Post 1 of Wheeling, held its celebration.

The commander of the post said that events like these provide a chance for veterans to continue to care for one another and their country. 

”Getting together with veterans on any occasion gives us the opportunity to make sure that veterans are doing okay. You could talk to him on the phone or you can see him in passing. But if you don’t take the time to stop and talk to him for a brief second and say, Hey, how you doing today? Because you never know when that veterans are going to say, Listen, I need help.”

John Powell | Commander, American Legion Post 1

The ceremony was open to the public today, and one veteran says that having support from people in the community is something that is very special. 

”It means a lot to a veteran when somebody comes up and extorts and says, Hey, thank you for your service. Just by your wearing your cap because like I said, a lot of people, we weren’t welcomed home and we are now.” 

Gerald W. McMasters | Elm Grove VFW Post 4442

The American Legion is a 501C19 cooperation, which allows the organization to be a non-profit and to lobby for laws that can help those who served. 

”The American Legion fights for veterans every day. There are several laws on the books that were created by because of the American Legion. And we continue to do that day on all levels of the government.” 

John Powell | Commander, American Legion Post 1

Although they have served their time fighting for the freedoms of Americans, many veterans continue to keep the promise they made to keep our country free.

“When we swore to defend our country and serve our country, that has never went away. We take that to the grave with us. That commitment to the country and fellow veterans and everyone else.”

Vernon Anderson | Elm Grove VFW Post 4442 

All of us at 7News would like to thank all of the veterans in the Ohio Valley and our country for keeping us safe and free, and we wish you a Happy Veteran’s Day.