“When the flag is finally folded and the last echoes of taps fade all that is left is one lonely tombstone among many.
“Friends and family will tell the soldier’s or airman’s story of valor and service to his state and his nation while they can.
“But … one day … no one will be left who can say how or why they perished. All that will be left is one lonely tombstone among many.
“Since 1912 thousands of men and women have served in the Kentucky National Guard. Hundreds of them have perished -- some on foreign battlefields, some on missions here in Kentucky to save fellow citizens from danger and disaster and some perished training to accomplish their missions.
“They each took a sacred vow to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic.
“Now it’s your turn.”
Such is the mission and challenge of The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., according to John Trowbridge, chair of the fund’s board of directors that is trying to raise $1.5 million to create a memorial to fallen members of the Kentucky National Guard. The memorial will be placed in the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort.
Trowbridge said up to now 146 casualties among Kentucky National Guard troops since 1912 have been verified. Some 305 other names are being researched.
“We are still $800,000 short of our goal ( $1.5 million).” said Trowbridge. “But we are optimistic ... very optimistic.”
Somerset City Council and Pulaski Fiscal Court are trying to help. The two local governmental units each have recently donated $2,500 to the memorial fund.
No state or federal funds are being sought for the memorial. “We’re asking citizens and communities to support the effort ... at one time or another every community has been touched by the Kentucky National Guard,” Trowbridge said.
“Our goal is to have the money by the end of this year and dedicate the memorial on Veterans Day 2014,” Trowbridge noted.