Henry calls on fallen veterans’ families and friends to help keep their memory alive

Local Scout troops assisted during the Memorial Day observance during the flag raising ceremony.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Monday, May 31, 2021 — Bright sunshine and moderate temperatures greeted the crowd of about 75 people who attended Monday’s Memorial Day observance at the Bardstown Cemetery.

Former Kentucky Commissioner of Veteran Affairs Heather French Henry was the keynote speaker for Monday’s Memorial Day observance.

For the 19th year, Kenny Fogle served as emcee of the event. Prior to that, the writer’s uncle, Roy Brooks, had handled those duties since 1987.

Fogle introduced Heather French Henry, Kentucky’s former Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, spoke to the crowd about her father’s military service as a Vietnam veteran.

She called on people to consider doing more on Memorial Day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

“Memorial Day is a day when we can think about and remember the sacrifices that paid the price for our freedoms,” she said. “We really have to do more to remember those individual military stories.”

She told of how the powerful expeirence her father had when he first visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. and located the names of the men he served with in a battle where many of them lost their lives.

And on the day of that battle, her father lost contact with his best friend who entered the service the same day her father did. He later found out that his best friend had died in combat later that same year. But the Vietnam Wall experience brought her father to find his best friend’s sister, and later, his best friend’s son.

The three comanders of the Bardstown American Legion posts salute after placing the wreath to honor our fallen venterans.

French called on those in attendance to honor our fallen soldiers and to lead by example to continue to remember them.

The wreath stands in front of a battlefield cross that consists of a soldier’s boots, rifle and helmet.

“Each one of those military stories — your story, their stories — they matter. Every moment they served matters,” she said. “Days like today matter to their memories.”

As is tradition at the annual observance, the commanders of the three Bardstown American Legion posts jointly laid a wreath to honor the memory of those who served and died in the service of our country.

This year’s Memorial Day observance was the first in-person observance since 2019 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s observance was recorded ahead of time and played on Memorial Day via YouTube and social media.


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