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We honor our war dead here

May 23 2021
Keith Lawrence | Messenger-Inquirer

When it comes to Memorial Day, few cities in America devote more attention to honoring our war dead than Owensboro.

By May 31, we will have seen at least nine ceremonies honoring those who fought and died from the American Revolution to Afghanistan.

Each will be unique in its remembrance of our war dead.

Each will offer something special.

It all begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday when bikers from Rolling Thunder ride into town for their annual ceremony at the Col. Charles E. Shelton Freedom Memorial in Smothers Park.

The bikers ride to remember those men and women, who like Shelton, an Owensboro native who was long listed as the last prisoner from the Vietnam War, never came home.

The ceremony is always moving.

On Thursday, at 5 p.m., the Lt. Robert Moseley chapter of Sons of the American Revolution will honor the memories of 32 veterans of the American Revolution who once lived in Daviess County in a ceremony in Moseley Square Cemetery at Fifth and Triplett streets.

The organization’s color guard wears colonial-era uniforms.

It’s a good chance to introduce children to the history of our nation.

At 8 a.m. on Friday, members of several veterans’ organizations, will be placing flags on veterans’ graves.

At 4 p.m. that day, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 696, 311 W. Veterans Blvd, will host its annual “Remembrance Field of Poppies” on its north lawn.

The field of white crosses will represent the Kentuckians who have died in combat since 2001.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Glenn Family Services will host its annual Memorial Day celebration at Owensboro Memorial Gardens, 5050 Kentucky 144, with music, speakers and military salutes.

At 1 p.m. on May 30, James L. Yates American Legion Post 9 will host a memorial service in the Veterans Triangle at Elmwood Cemetery, 1300 Old Hartford Road.

And at 5 p.m. that day, a Memorial Day service is scheduled at Utica Baptist Church, 415 Kentucky 1207.

On May 31, there’s a new event this year.

The Brandon Scott Mullins Memorial Foundation in partnership with the Kentucky Chapter of American Gold Star Mothers, the Woody Williams Foundation and Carry The Load are sponsoring a walk/run for the community that day.

It begins with an 8 a.m. opening ceremony and prayer at the Gold Star monument in Smothers Park.

At 11 a.m. that day, the veterans affairs committee and the city will have their annual Memorial Day service at the Owensboro Sportscenter, 1215 Hickman Ave.

Names of all veterans who have died in the past 12 months will be read aloud.

And at 1 p.m. that day, VFW Post 696 will close out the week of ceremonies with its annual sea service at the post downtown.

There’s something special about each of those services.

But because there are so many, none of them attracts a massive crowd.

It would be nice to see one massive service that combines elements of each with thousands of people turning out to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

That will never happen.

But when we look at things that make us unique, we need to let the world know that we in Daviess County honor our war dead better than just about any place on the planet.