Kentucky commemorates Memorial Day, World War I

By Sgt. 1st Class Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Kentucky Guardsmen, families and Veterans commemorated Memorial Day with a ceremony at the Kentucky National Guard Memorial in Frankfort, Ky., May 28, 2018. Fourteen names were added to the monument bringing the total to 269 Kentuckians who have fallen in the line of duty since 1912. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky National Guard honored its fallen during a Memorial Day observance, May 28, at the Kentucky National Guard Memorial in Frankfort, Ky.

Fourteen names have been added to the Memorial as Kentucky continues to honor the Guardsmen who fell in the line of duty and as we commemorate the 100th Anniversary of World War I.  This brings the total number of names on the Memorial to 269 men and women who have given the last full measure of devotion since 1912.

Heather French Henry, Deputy Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs was the keynote speaker. Henry also serves as Chair for the Kentucky World War I Committee, which is comprised of 27 local, state and national organizations. She said the mission of the committee is to carry on the service and legacy of WWI Veterans.

“It’s our duty to ensure the service and sacrifice of all of our Kentuckians is remembered, even after 100 years,” she said. “With more than 90,000 Kentuckians serving in the Great War, answering the call to duty and 7,000 of those were Kentucky National Guardsmen, all 120 counties within our commonwealth gave of its sons and daughters.”

Henry spoke of Kentucky’s last WWI Veteran, Robley Rex, who passed away at age 107 in 2009. The Louisville VA Medical Center is aptly named after Rex. She said it’s up to the current generation to preserve the memory of WWI Veterans and their service to our country.

“We must carry the torch in remembrance. We cannot and will not let those men and women down,” she added.

Of the names added to the memorial, 13 are of Kentuckians who died during WWI or in the months immediately leading up to their deployment overseas.

Those fallen added are:

Captain John V. Bedinger, 32, of Anchorage, Jefferson County, died of pneumonia in Liverpool, England, Oct. 20, 1918, while on federal active duty with the 151st Field Hospital, 113th Sanitary Train, 38th Division.

Private First Class Emet Bingham, 22, of South Hill, Butler County, was killed in action in France July 28, 1918, while serving with Company E, 165th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Brigade, 42nd “Rainbow” Division.

Private Charles J. Burckle, 27, of Louisville, Jefferson County, was killed in action in France Aug. 8, 1918, while serving with Battery A of the 146th Field Artillery, 41st Division.

Private First Class Alfred D. Hammonds, 39, of Somerset, Pulaski County, died Feb. 5, 1945, of non-battle related causes while serving with Service Company, 149th Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division in the Philippines.

Private Herman Hancock, 36, of Lexington, Fayette County died Feb. 28, 1917, of Pneumonia due to exposure while on federal active duty at a demobilization camp at Fort Thomas.

Sergeant Joseph H. Holt, 28, of Paris, Bourbon County died of uremic poisoning due to kidney failure while on federal active duty at Booth’s Memorial Hospital in Covington on or about April 17, 1917.

Corporal Alvin J. Hoops, 24, of Wysox, Butler County, died April 19, 1918, of pneumonia while on federal active duty with his unit at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

Private Orvil Jones, 20, of Cynthiana, Harrison County, died of spinal meningitis in the Louisville City Hospital April 16, 1917, while on federal active duty. Jones had originally be hospitalized with pneumonia. Jones was serving with the Supply Company of the 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment.

Private William “Lee” Kennett, 19, of Oak Hill, Hopkins County, died of pulmonary tuberculosis on Dec. 19, 1917, while on federal active duty with his unit, Company H, 149th Infantry, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

Private Roy McCleese, 20, of Farmers, Rowan County, died of spinal meningitis at the Camp Shelby base hospital Dec. 21, 1917, while serving on federal active duty with his unit, Company C, 149th Infantry.

Private Tilden Parks, 39, of Danville, Boyle County, died of wounds July 31, 1918, while on federal active duty serving with Company C, 28th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. Parks was wounded in action July 20, 1918, during the Aisen-Marne Operation in France.

Private Roy L. Roberts, 24, of Paint Lick, Garrard County died after a short illness with lobar pneumonia Dec. 11, 1917, while serving on federal active duty with his unit at Camp Shelby, Company G, 149th Infantry.

Frank Henry Street, 26, of Paducah, McCracken County died of pneumonia Dec. 16, 1917, at the base hospital at Camp Shelby while on federal active duty with his unit, Company C, 149th Infantry.

Private Ben Thompson, 19, of London, Laurel County died of lobar pneumonia while on federal active duty at Camp Shelby with his unit, Company A, 149th Infantry at the Camp Shelby base hospital Dec. 11, 1917.

To read biographies of our fallen, please visit: http://www.guardmemorial.com/html/our_fallen.html

Click here for more photos.

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