More than 200,000 veterans live in West Virginia, making it the state with the largest number of veterans per capita.
This Veterans Day, one West Virginia vet and his ten comrades finally received the recognition they deserved.
On Friday, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin honored the Wereth 11, which is composed of 11 African American soldiers killed in the line of duty during World War II.
James Stewart, one of those soldiers, was raised in Piedmont, W.Va.
“They surrendered. They were captured. [They were] hopeful to save lives, and they did,” said Kip Price, military lecturer.
Price has advocated for years to share their story.
“When they give the ultimate sacrifice, you can’t give no more. You give your life. Those are the true heroes, and we just want people to educate them. When you get education, you have awareness, and through awareness, [you get] appreciation,” explained Price.
“Kip has kept this alive, and Kip is from the Piedmont area. So, he is the one that kept this alive, made sure that we never gave up and brought it to our attention,” said Sen. Manchin.
Sen. Manchin traveled to Keyser to formally present a resolution to honor the soldiers.
The passing of Resolution 99 solidifies their place in history.
Sen. Manchin said this is a good reflection on West Virginia.
“I think it just says who we are as a people [and] who we’ve always been. It speaks volumes of the people we have [and] the patriotism our state has,” said Sen. Manchin.
Three copies of the resolution were given out at the ceremony, including one to a relative of Stewart.