Ft. Knox/ Hardin County, KY - Gold Star Families Memorial Monument
Ft. Knox/ Hardin County, KY Project - Gold Star Families Memorial Monument
A new Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, honoring the families of servicemen and women killed while serving in the military, is a reality. The monument located at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery - Central in Radcliff, Kentucky, and across from Fort Knox, is completed. The construction has been underway since June and the site is almost ready for landscaping.
The dedication was held on September 23, 2016.
The Project Team consists of Steve Curry (Air Force Veteran, Viet Nam), Ed Gudgel (USMC Retired), Dan Haddix (USMC Veteran), Walton Haddix (Navy Veteran), Lynn Romans (Gold Star Mom of SGT Darrin K Potter, died September 29, 2003, Iraq) and Project Manager Mike King (Army Veteran, Viet Nam). Special thanks goes to the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs and the staff of the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery - Central for their guidance during this effort.
Dedication day was beautiful even though a bit warm with about 350 people in attendance. The presiding dignitaries included Woody Williams, Kentucky Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton, Kentucky Department Veterans Affairs Deputy Commissioner Heather French Henry, Colonel Steve Aiton, Ft. Knox Garrison Commander and 45 Gold Star Family members. The project team of Steve Curry (Air Force Veteran, Vietnam), Ed Gudgel (USMC Retired, Vietnam), Daniel Haddix (USMC Veteran), Walton Haddix (Navy Veteran), Mike King (Army Veteran, Vietnam) and Lynn Romans (Gold Star Mom) were and gave special thanks Mr. Jeffrey Acob, KDVA Cemetery System and Mr. Charles Heater, Director of the cemetery.
The National Anthem was sung beautifully by Lyndsey Henken. Steve Bonafel sang the touching, Last Parade, a song he wrote in tribute to a friend who is a Gold Star Mom. Layla Young, a six years old second grader did a great job presenting the Pledge of Allegiance. Deacon Franco Cottrell, former prisoner of war during Vietnam, now assigned to the Fort Knox Military Chaplain Services, gave a heartfelt invocation to bless the event.
The dedication was supported by the Patriot Guards who provided American and Patriot Flags by the driveway and monument. The Kentucky Society Color Guard and Sons of the American Revolution provided historical flags around the monument, fired a 21 gun flintlock rifle salute, played ceremonial fife music and laid a wreath. The Marine Corps League provided an Honor Guard, fired a 21 gun rifle salute and played Taps on the bugle. The Red Cross provided water and volunteers as did UPS Freight who shipped the monument stones to the cemetery as a donation.
The "Gold Star" and the "Honor and Remember" flags were raised by Joe Noffsinger, Gold Star Son of Ted Noffisinger, 1/19/45, Bastogne and Lynn Romans, Gold Star Mom of Darrin Potter, 9/29/03, Iraq. Four wreaths were placed at the monument by the dignitaries. Woody Williams then gave a spiritual blessing to those in attendance as the monument was unveiled. The 21 gun salute by the Marine Corps League followed and the playing of Taps. It reminded everyone in the crowd about those who made the ultimate sacrifice and their families who endured the loss.
After the dedication a surprise donation of $1,137 was received from the American Legion, Hardin Post 113 and their American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and Legion Riders to help pay off the monument. Everyone who attended appreciated the ceremony and camaraderie of veterans, the military who were present and Gold Star Families. The day left a strong reminder that Gold Star Families and their lost loved ones will not be forgotten. The Project Team thanks all sponsors, contributors and those that made the monument possible.
A Gold Star family is a wife, husband, mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, parent through adoption, foster parents who stand or stood in loco parentis, children, stepchildren, children through adoption, brothers, sisters, half brothers, half sisters, aunts, uncles, grandchildren and grandparents of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States that sacrificed their life for our way of life and the American flag under which they served. The Gold Star Family Memorial was created by Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel “Woody’ Williams to remember those families who have made the ultimate sacrifice. To learn more about the memorial, please visit our Gold Star Families Memorial Monument web page.
"Dying for freedom isn't the worst thing that can happen. Being forgotten is." Georgie Carter-Krell (Mother of Posthumous Medal or Honor Recipient Pfc. Bruce W. Carter, USMC- Florida