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Teaching lessons about veterans

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Veterans honored at community Memorial Day celebration

By Moreland Jeff

 

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Taylor County recognized those who have served their country in the military Monday afternoon with the annual community Memorial Day celebration.

Weather moved the majority of the ceremony indoors to the Campbellsville Civic Center, where speakers including State Rep. John “Bam” Carney and Taylor County Judge-Executive Eddie Rogers, as well as the keynote speaker Roger Cook, superintendent of Taylor County Schools, addressed the crowd of about 70 people on hand.

Cook, an educator for the past 41 years, took the opportunity to educate the audience about the history of Memorial Day and the service of veterans, but also stressed that we should all educate our young people about the true reason for the holiday.

“One thing I want to talk about today is our future generation, how they feel sometimes so entitled to everything, to freedom, to all of the activities and everything they have without ever giving a thought as to how they are allowed to have them,” he said. “I’ve seen it change through the years. If we don’t continue to talk about and teach our children the reason for our freedom, we’re making a big mistake. I think it’s important not to do it only in schools, but to do it in your family, to make it a point to teach your children, even though it looks like they probably don’t care, so they can hear it and maybe remember it later on, and pass it on. We must never let people forget the meaning of this day. We get wrapped up in picnics, an extra day off work, department store sales, ballgames or marathons, or many other activities. But we forget why we have the freedom to have all of these activities and to enjoy them. We forget why we live in a country that gives us the opportunity to have these activities.”

Cook continued, saying that in our country today, people worship athletes and music stars, but forget the real heroes who provided the freedoms we all enjoy.

“Take time to teach your children and your grandchildren why they get to have all of these activities and all of these freedoms. I think that’s very important,” he said.

Following the speakers, Patty Waters sang “God Bless the USA” before the ceremony moved across the street to the Taylor County War Memorial. At the memorial, veterans Bobby Baker and Gregg Parent with American Legion Post 82 in Campbellsville placed wreaths on the memorial. Next, four soldiers from the Kentucky National Guard lowered an old U.S. flag and raised a new one. Those conducting the flag ceremony were Specialist Cody Stockwell, Specialist Matthew Prewitt, Staff Sergeant Jonathan Hutchens and Private First Class Jordan Pratt.

As the ceremony concluded, Vietnam veteran Lonnie Malone performed “Taps” on the trumpet.