THE VETERANS MEMORIAL PROJECT
In association with the DODDRIDGE COUNTY HERITAGE GUILD, this website has undertaken a project to create a digital version of the Doddridge County Veterans Memorial Wall of Honor that has stood on the court house lawn in West Union for decades. The original Honor Roll of Doddridge County veterans was hand-painted on the wooden wall by the Ladies Auxiliaries of veterans organizations, with updates to be added as needed. This Wall of Honor was later enclosed behind glass. The veterans' names are listed alphabetically, and grouped by war. Inserting new names and changing incorrect entries proved to be difficult, and space for adding the names of veterans of the current generation is at a premium. As a solution, three LED displays were installed several years ago and programmed to continuously scroll the names of all the veterans entitled to be inscribed on the wall.
The Veterans Memorial Wall of Honor is a prominent and revered landmark in Doddridge County, so it seemed only natural to use it as a motif when adding a military page to our website. But we wanted to have more than just another list of names. As genealogists and historians, our idea was to recognize and honor each veteran as a person, not just a name. The approach is to create a "digital plaque" for each veteran, with a very brief description of his/her military service, as well as a photograph if available. Placed into one of three groups according to time of service, the plaques are displayed here in continuous slideshows. Each slideshow can be viewed fullscreen, with the ability to scroll ahead or back, and to pause on a specific veteran's entry. At six seconds per slide, viewing the entire WW II slideshow would require about one hour. The other two, containing far fewer entries, would take about 20 minutes each.
This is an ambitious undertaking, to say the least. Our primary resource is a list of 2,200 names of Doddridge County veterans, grouped by their service in one of four wars, with no other clues. Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans were not included. The challenge now is to match the listed names with real people, determine their military service and Doddridge County connection, try to find a suitable photograph, and then create the digital plaque. With the project only about 70% complete, we have found many names impossible to identify, while also discovering some veterans who should have been listed but weren't, and a few others whose connection to the county is questionable. We have also opted to include any Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans who become known to us.
This is where we ask for your help. You can access that same list of Doddridge County veterans on a page of the WVGenWeb. There will probably be people who you know on that list, or maybe you're on the more current one yourself. If you have information or a photograph for any listed veteran, and you see that he/she is missing from the slideshows, or that their entry is lacking in some way, or that a rightful name is missing from the list, please email us with what you have. Or you can send it by regular mail or drop it off in person, all explained in the optional WORKSHEET provided for your convenience. Please send only copies of any photos or documents, not originals.
Your support of this project is greatly appreciated. We want to do right by our veterans, just as they have always done right for our country.