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The seasoned soldiers stand at attention, saluting the flag that stands for the country they love and serve.
Taylor County honored veterans during a ceremony on Sunday at the War Memorial, in honor of Veterans Day.
About 100 people attended. Many local veterans and public officials attended.
Led by Taylor County Clerk Mark Carney, the crowd prayed together to keep the soldiers serving overseas safe.
They prayed that the sacrifice those soldiers and those who served from Taylor County made wouldn’t be forgotten.
Carney prayed, “Without our veterans, we wouldn’t be here experiencing the freedoms that you’ve given us.”
State Rep. John “Bam” Carney, R-Campbellsville, quoted John F. Kennedy, who said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Carney said it’s easy to say “thank you” to veterans, and he calls on the Taylor County community to go beyond saying “thank you.”
“Go beyond the words and into action,” he said. “Seek out a veteran and do a kindness for them. Carry out actions that will show our veterans how much they mean to us.”
Carney’s goal for his next term in office, he said, is to establish a veteran’s clinic in the Taylor County region.
There are 356,000 living veterans in Kentucky, he said, and 250,000 of them have served in wartime.
“We must make sure their needs are met,” he said.
Campbellsville resident and U.S. Navy veteran Les Chadwick sang the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Veterans attending the ceremony who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Desert Shield and the war in Afghanistan were recognized.
Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers told the origin of Taps, the song played at military funerals and ceremonies around the world.
Rogers said the song came from the Civil War, when a man pulled an injured soldier from the battlefield to receive medical attention. The man later saw the face of the soldier, who was fighting for his enemy, and saw it was his son.
The man’s son died, Rogers said, and he wanted to honor him with military burial. That was denied, but the man was allowed to have some music played for his son. He found a paper with music notes written on it inside his son’s pocket. The notes became known as Taps.
“Our veterans gave so much for our freedom,” Rogers said. “Thank you for your service.”
Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young read about U.S. Marine Mitchell Page from the American Patriot’s Bible.
“Many times we feel like we’re alone,” Young said. “But one thing we can rest assured, we are never alone. God is always with us and will take care of us.”
Young said he is proud of veterans.
“I have the freedom to voice things that I believe in because of what you’ve done.”
Robert Bryant, first vice commander for the American Legion of Kentucky, spoke about the legion and how its members should be honored.
“They served our nation,” he said. “Every day is Veterans Day.”
Bryant said the men and women who serve their country help ensure that United States citizens can live in their homes and be safe.
“Sometimes all that’s needed is a simple ‘thank you.’”
Lonnie Malone, a Vietnam veteran from Lebanon, played Taps.
Bobby Baker, service officer, and Phil Davis, commander, of the American Legion Post 82 placed flowers on the
Taylor County War Memorial, the memorial honoring the Taylor County residents who died while serving their country.