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Parade Committee tabs West Honorary Grand Marshall

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Tuesday, March 26, 2002

U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Ernie West will be the Honorary Grand Marshall for this year’s Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade.

The Wurtland, Ky. native was the unanimous choice when the parade committee met Monday evening to plan the 134th annual event to honor America’s veterans.

Committee member James Adkins submitted West’s biography for consideration.

"I know him personally and he’s a fine individual," Adkins said. "A distinguished individual."

West, 70, was a private first class in the U.S. Army when he was recognized for "gallantry above and beyond the call of duty." Stationed in Sataeri, Korea in 1952, he volunteered to

accompany a contingent to locate and destroy a reported enemy outpost.

According to his biographical information, the patrol was ambushed and there were numerous casualties.

West discovered his leader had been wounded, and, in spite of enemy fire, located the fallen leader and brought him back to safety in the midst of the battle – at times even shielding the other man’s body with his own. West lost an eye and was critically wounded.

With about two months to go, the parade committee is soliciting names for honorary division commanders. The rules require those nominated for this to be deceased veterans. There are six divisions that need new names.