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Memorial Day observance set for next Monday at Bardstown City Cemetery

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Sunday, May 22, 2022 — The local American Legion posts will once again assemble at 11 a.m. Monday, May 30, 2022, at the Bardstown Cemetery Rotunda to remember the men and women in uniform who gave their lives in service to their country.

KENNY FOGLE

Kenny Fogle will serve as emcee; Bardstown Mayor Dick Heaton will offer a welcome to those in attendance. The keynote speaker this year is Nelson County Judge Executive Dean Watts.

Members of local Scout troups will conduct the Flag ceremony, and the Commanders of the local American Legion posts and their respective chaplains will participate in memorials to honor veterans who have died.

OPEN TO PUBLIC. The public is invited to attend the Memorial Day observance. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

HISTORY OF THE LOCAL MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE. The current observance at the city cemetery began as a project put together by James E. “Brooksie” Brooks and his brother, Roy Brooks Jr. Both men were members of American Legion Post 121, and both men had taken part annually in placing flags in the local cemeteries to mark veterans’ graves.

But the flags on the veterans’ graves quickly faded in the summer sun. Some were stolen, others were damaged by mowers. Brooksie and Roy thought a more permanent solution could provide a better way to honor veterans year-round.

The brothers approached the Rev. Clarence Howard for his help, and he donated a flagpole to the project that was formerly in place at Bethlehem High School. With an appeal to other groups for funding, the flagpole was placed in the city cemetery’s rotunda, along with a brass marker to honor local veterans.

Brooksie died before that first Memorial Day observance in 1988, and his brother Roy Brooks took on the role as emcee of the event. At that first Memorial Day observance, Roy made sure his brother’s burial flag was the one flown during the ceremony.

Roy continued to serve as emcee of the event until his death in 2003. Since then, U.S. Air Force veteran Kenny Fogle has served as master of ceremonies.

REFRESHMENTS AFTEWARD. Each year, one of the participating American Legion posts will host light refreshments following the observance. The hosting Legion post will be announced, and the public is invited.

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