NITRO, W.Va. — A World War I doughboy statue now sits on the corner of 21st Street and Second Avenue in Nitro as a permanent feature of the city’s new Living Memorial Park.
“Nitro has that rich history that we are building on and the doughboy is a symbol of that history,” said Nitro Mayor Dave Casebolt.
The new park will be dedicated Saturday at 2 p.m. as part of Nitro’s yearlong centennial celebration.
“This is the final touch to it. We’ll do a little bit of paint work. It’s going to be ready to go for the dedication Saturday,” Casebolt said.
The WWI statue, standing at 72 inches tall, “unites” the city, Casebolt said. The park, he said, will be a place where people can come and honor veterans.
“I’ve had several people tell me they drive by to look at the park. It means a lot to them that they can memorialize their family members here at the park. As you can see, we have pavers here with people’s names on them. They will be remembered forever” he said.
There are about 300 names of military veterans engraved at the park.
Other features of the park include a fountain, a stage and a patriotic memorial.
Saturday’s events begin with an all-horse parade starting at Pickens Road and First Avenue at 12 p.m.
The dedication ceremony will include keynote speaker David Riley, national commander of Disabled American Veterans. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, State Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonheardt and retired adjutant general of the National Guard Major General Allen Tackett will also be on hand.