NITRO, W.Va. — The West Virginia Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America honored U.S. military servicemen and women during an event Saturday in Nitro.

Cecil Roberts

Cecil Roberts, international president of the United Mine Workers of America, was the keynote speaker. Roberts, a Vietnam War veteran, spoke about the importance of honoring veterans for serving their country.

“Those 58,000 plus soldiers on that wall they died heroes and their families paid the ultimate sacrifice. We know there was a time where Vietnam vets weren’t treated the best but now, I think people are making a 100 percent effort here to rectify that,” Roberts said.

The city of Nitro is the home of the West Virginia Vietnam War Memorial, located in the nearby Nitro History & Wars Museum. Roberts said it’s appropriate to have the memorial in Nitro where veterans are respected.

“I think something like this memorial needs to be here because the people in this city want it here. They will honor it, they will protect it and they will see that it’s taken care of,” he said.

The event featured several speakers throughout the day. Representatives from the West Virginia Veterans Administration were also on hand to answer eligibility and benefit questions from veterans attending the event.

Roberts shared a personal story from his family.

“One of my favorite pictures in our family is a picture of my dad, his brother Arnold, his brother Willard in their Navy uniforms going off to World War II hanging in what used to be my mother’s home, which is now my sister’s home,” he said. “That’s a picture I’m so proud of.”

Saturday’s event took place in the Nitro Living Memorial Park.