Commemorating Memorial Day in Kentucky

Staff Report

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Flags flutter in the breeze at the Kentucky War Memorial in Frankfort Cemetery, Frankfort, Ky.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — President John F. Kennedy said, “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”

Today, we remember and honor the American Servicemembers, ordinary men and women, who died while in military service.

Since 1866, when the people of Waterloo, New York dipped their flags to half mast and decorated their village to remember the Soldiers who died during the Civil War, our nation has paid tribute to those lives of all service men and women who have fallen in the line of duty.

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Flags whip in the wind over the graves of Kentucky Service members at the War Memorial in Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Ky.

In the 100 years since the organization became known as the Kentucky National Guard, hundreds of its Citizen-Soldiers have given the last full measure of devotion to the Commonwealth and the Nation.Names such as 1st Sgt. William C. Liles from Hartford, Ky., who died during the Mexican Border Campaign in 1917 and Pvt. Robert Brooks of Sadieville, Ky., the first U.S. Armored forces casualty of World War II, tell of the past sacrifices of Kentucky and a nation at war.  Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 16,000 Kentucky Guardsmen have deployed overseas in support of operations in the War on Terror — 18 did not return.

Sgt. Jonathan Hughes of Lebanon, Kentucky, who was killed in Iraq in 2005, and Sgt. Daniel Wallace of Dry Ridge, Kentucky, who died in 2008 in Afghanistan, are among the newest names added to the alter of freedom.

The Kentucky Guard is in the process of funding their own memorial to be dedicated to those names and others who we honor today.

The Kentucky National Guard Memorial will create a sacred space for families, friends, and comrades to reflect and remember. So far, 464 potential names have been discovered that may one day be honored on the memorial and 145 have been confirmed for inclusion who died while in the line of duty from March 19, 1912 to present. That date is significant because it is when the state of Kentucky made an official name change from the “Kentucky State Guard” to the “Kentucky National Guard.”

KYNG Memorial concept

An artist rendering of the future Kentucky National Guard Memorial to be built in Frankfort, Ky. (Courtesy of KYNG Memorial Fund)

The memorial will be built in Frankfort at the Boone National Guard Center with a ground breaking ceremony scheduled for today. Funding for the memorial has been provided entirely through private donations.

To find out more about the project visit www.kyngmemorial.com.

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