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Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park honors veterans

The Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation honored local military members and their families on Friday.

The Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation honored local military members and their families on Friday.

The service held at the Free Methodist Church at Brooke Hills Park was a testament to U.S. service veterans --living or dead -- who gave the American government a blank check for their lives.

Ceremonial gunfire faded, but the memories have not.

The Taibi family from Follansbee was honored for their service in World War II, the conflicts in Korea, and Vietnam, and their dedication during peacetime.

"They were all proud men,” said Donna Sullivan, a Taibi family member. “They were honored to serve their country. My father, for one, was in the 45th (Army) infantry, which his division liberated Dachau."

The family received plaques for each service member. Those plaques will be housed in a new expansion of the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Museum in Wellsburg.

The dedication is Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m.

Navy veteran and museum curator Jim Brockman is still receiving new artifacts that will be showcased in the expanded museum in the back of the Brooke County Library. And the expansion will be an immersive way to experience the history of World War II.

"We're going to have six iPads (that) people can pick up and go across the whole spectrum and time frame, listening to (prisoners of war) telling their experiences based on the artifacts we will have on the wall," Brockman said.

Though the museum focuses on the often forgotten battles and defeats in the Pacific Theatre campaigns, more room is being made for local military veterans.

"It's the 'old river room.' It's going to be turned into a memorial to those folks who were veterans in World War II, Vietnam, any other branch of the service, or any other war," Brockman said.

"I'm extremely proud and honored that they were honored today," Brockman said.

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