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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Keyser in Mineral County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Kelley Memorial Plaza

Jonah Edward Kelley

 
 
Kelley Memorial Plaza Marker image. Click for full size.
July 12, 2020
1. Kelley Memorial Plaza Marker
Inscription.  
This Memorial is to pay tribute to Keyser's Medal of Honor recipient Jonah Edward Kelley. Born and raised in this area, Ed Kelley represented the best of West Virginia—character, values, hard work and sheer determination to do what's right, regardless of the obstacles. Ed Kelley walked these grounds, played on the ball fields around Keyser, and graduated from the school directly in front of you, Keyser High School, in 1941.

In 1998, a new Keyser High School opened south of town, leaving this building vacant. The following year, the School was purchased and renovated by Grand Central Business Center. Governor Underwood was the Key Speaker at the grand opening of the new business center, and from that event sprang the dedication to place a permanent memorial in honor of Ed Kelley on grounds of the school where Ed Kelley spent his formative years.

Eugene Newhouse, a KHS graduate and employee of Grand Central Business Center, spoke at the grand opening and articulated a vision for a permanent memorial. While he had heard many people around town speak of a memorial for years, Eugene challenged the community
Ed Kelley Memorial Plaza image. Click for full size.
July 12, 2020
2. Ed Kelley Memorial Plaza
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to embark on building a memorial now, while members of the 78th Division who had fought with Ed Kelley were still alive and able to enjoy it. In attendance that day was Boy Scout Steven Warner, visiting from Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania (home of the US Army War College). Steven heard Eugene's challenge, and decided to help make the Memorial a reality by taking on the challenge as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Steven began to work closely with Done Heare of Keyser's American Legion Post 41. Under Don Heare's guidance, various memorial proposals were identified, ideas for fundraising were considered and historical research was initiated. Steven was instrumental in raising over $8,000 for the Memorial, and designing a prototype of the Memorial before you today. Most importantly, Steven spent numerous hours researching the historical accuracy of Ed Kelley's exploits, especially as to what spurred General Eisenhower to make the statement, "Single-handedly, Ed Kelley shortened the War in Europe by two months."

The answer to that question is put forth for your review in the accompanying placards. We invite you to take the time to read Ed Kelley's historic story. He was a significant actor in the most monumental event of the 20th Century — the defeat of Nazism and the ascendancy of the United States of America and our ideals of freedom and democracy to
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prominence in world history. The successful completion of WWII marked the first true hope for the equality of man as espoused by Jesus Christ some 2000 years ago to become a reality for the majority of the world's population. While the world struggled for another 45 years to defeat Communism, it too, was destined for "the dustbin of history"—again, due to gallant stands by individuals of character like Ed Kelley. Today, the world stands shoulder to shoulder, embraced to withstand the onslaught of Islamic terrorists. Who knows what "ism" or fanatic tomorrow will present, but be assured someone will rise to test American resolve. We should learn from Ed Kelley, emulate his strengths, and be ready to commit just as members of the gallant 78th Division did when duty called. This "Greatest Generation" set the standard for which future generations should aspire to attain.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionEducationIndustry & CommerceWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #34 Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the Medal of Honor Recipients series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1941.
 
Location. 39° 26.381′ N, 78° 58.613′ W. Marker is in Keyser, West Virginia, in Mineral County. Marker is on
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Piedmont Street (West Virginia Route 46) just west of North Davis Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 32 N Davis St, Keyser WV 26726, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World War II (here, next to this marker); D-Day (here, next to this marker); Key Terrain (here, next to this marker); The First Battle of Kesternich (here, next to this marker); The Battle of the Bulge (here, next to this marker); Regaining the Initiative (here, next to this marker); Jonah Edward Kelley (here, next to this marker); The Medal of Honor (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Keyser.
 
Additional commentary.
1. Judgments Expressed on the Marker
This marker seems to conflate the democratic process with Christianity. While it's fine that the author feels both patriotic and piously religious, it can lead individuals who feel only one or the other feel excluded.
    — Submitted July 20, 2020.

 
Additional keywords. Islamophobia
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 14, 2020. This page has been viewed 40 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 14, 2020.

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May. 15, 2021