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Paying tribute to those who served

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By Sen. Jimmy Higdon

FRANKFORT – We are each called upon to serve others in our lives. For some, this duty to the greater good means military service. Young men and women from across the Commonwealth step up to meet this challenge again and again, knowing well the risks. Yet, they still take that sacred vow to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic.

The planned Kentucky National Guard Memorial will give all of us a lasting reminder of the men and women in uniform who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Since 1912, thousands of Kentuckians have served in the Kentucky National Guard and Reserves. They have been called upon to defend liberty abroad and provide disaster-relief at home. Their families have also sacrificed. This service sometimes comes at a terrible cost. One way to honor and remember our fallen soldiers is through memorials that pay tribute to their service, bravery and sacrifice.

The memorial will be built at the entrance to the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort. It will be a sacred space for families, friends and comrades to reflect and pay tribute to all who have perished in the line of duty. Additionally, it will be a classroom for generations of students to learn about service to the state and nation, as well as the cost of freedom. To date 145 soldiers and airmen have been preliminarily confirmed for inclusion on the memorial. An additional 305 names still require significant research and may be eventually included.

The soldiers from Washington County who are confirmed for inclusion are: Technician Fifth Class Joseph Robert Carrico; Private James Gannon; Private First Class Joseph R. McIlvoy; and Sergeant John Edward Parrott. The sacrifices these men made touched their friends, family and children. Our entire community, the Commonwealth and the nation is indebted to them for their service. Through the generosity of citizens, corporations and foundations, our soldiers who paid a price beyond all measure will be remembered now and forever.

Remember, your input is invaluable, so please call me in Frankfort toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or my home at 270-692-6945 if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.