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Veterans cemeteries, centers across Kentucky plan special events to observe Memorial Day

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s Memorial Day observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.


The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs will observe Memorial Day locally at of its State Veterans Cemeteries and Veterans Centers.

Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Northeast, Greenup County

10 p.m. Monday, May 27. Sgt. Moses Scarberry will be guest speaker for the third annual Memorial Day Service. Landrea Spurlock will sing the National Anthem. Veteran Phillip Stephens has prepared the Invocation/Benediction. Laying of the wreaths and posting and retiring of National Colors will be presented by East Carter Jr. ROTC. Boyd County High School Trumpeters will perform TAPS.

100 Veterans Memorial Drive, Greenup County 41143
Phone: 606-929-5354
More information here

Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North, Williamstown

1p.m. Monday, May 27. Guest speaker will be Col. (Ret.) Mark Roland. Wreath laying ceremony will be held to honor veterans. Photos and personal profiles of veterans and dependents interred at KCVN will be presented. Ciarra Krist will play taps. Benediction to be given by Col. James G. Simpson. Refreshments immediately following the ceremony provided by Williamstown Women’s Club.

205 Eibeck Lane, Williamstown 41097

Phone: 859-823-0720

More information here

Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central
, Radcliffe 

8 a.m. Monday, May 27. Guest speaker will be Rep. Tim Moore. Posting of National Colors will be presented by North Hardin High School ROTC. Casey Williams will sing the National Anthem and the chaplain has prepared the blessing. The Human Resource Honors Team of Ft. Knox is presenting the flag folding ceremony. A rifle salute will be given by the 201 B.S.B. Ft. Knox.

2501 North Dixie Boulevard, 
Radcliff 40160

Phone: 270-351-5115

More information here

Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West

11 a.m., Monday, May 27. VFW Post 1913 hosts the ceremony. Guest speaker will be Mr. D.D. Cayce III. Wreaths will be placed by Patricia Basner, chaplain, Fort Campbell American Legion Auxiliary Unit 233, Jane McKnight, Dept. of Kentucky, president American Legion Auxiliary, Richard Stanley, cemetery director, and John Brame, commander Post 1913. Stanley will also give the year of honors remembrance. Johnny C. Brown will play taps and To the Colors as VFW Post 1913 conducts the U.S. flag retirement ceremony. Pennyrile Honor Guard will post and retire the colors. Lunch will be served at VFW Post 1913 at noon following the ceremony.

5817 Fort Campbell Boulevard, 
Hopkinsville 42240

Phone: 270-889-6106

More information here

Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center, Hazard

11 a.m. Monday, May 27. Memorial Day Ceremony at Hazard City Hall followed by lunch at the DAV. At 2 p.m. will be a wreath dedication at EKVC. A 21-gun salute and playing of Taps will follow as well as a last roll call for all residents that have passed during the last year. Refreshments will be provided in the multipurpose room.

200 Veterans Drive, 
Hazard 41701

Phone: 606-435-6196

Toll-free: 877-856-0004

More information here

Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, Wilmore

10:30 a.m. Monday, May 27. Guest speaker will be Pat Whitt who served in the Army during the Vietnam era. The Pledge of Allegiance will be performed by one of the Thomson-Hood Veteran Center residents and music will be provided by Ruby Wiant. There will be a final roll call for the Thomson Hood Veteran Center residents who have passed from May 2012-May 2013. A slide show and lighting of the candles in these residents’ honor will be provided. Playing of Taps will conclude the ceremony.

100 Veterans Drive, 
Wilmore 40390
More information here

Joseph “Eddie” Ballard Western Kentucky Veterans Center, Hanson

10 a.m. Friday, May 24. KVCW Director Richard Stanley will be the guest speaker. Residents and staff will share when and where they served in the military. The program will close with a tribute to residents of WKVC who have passed away since last May.

926 Veterans Drive, 
Hanson 42413

Phone: 270-322-9087
More information here

From Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs

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