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Service to honor fallen heroes

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By Metz Camfield

The American Legion Post 34, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 34 and the Department of Kentucky will host a memorial service in remembrance of fallen heroes. Troops at home and abroad that are still protecting and insuring our freedom will also be honored.

The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 30 at 725 W. Broadway.

Kentucky has lost seven soldiers this past year, according to a news release from event organizers. They, in addition to their families, will be honored at the Healing Field. A flag will be raised and a marble marker will be placed beneath with their name, branch of service, rank and hometown.

“The worst feeling you can have is someone knocking on your door telling you you’ve lost a loved one,” said Pam Rice, the Unit 34 president and national executive committeewoman for the Department of Kentucky.

All flags will be flown at half-staff. Those seven that were not honored last year and are being honored this year will also be at half-staff. If family members of the seven fallen heroes are present they will raise the flags to full-staff. If family members are not present they will be raised by color guards, Rice said.

“The most important thing is we get to recognize our fallen heroes,” she said.

The service will begin with the posting of the colors, the pledge of allegiance, the national anthem and an opening prayer.

The service will give recognition to the fallen heroes and speakers will read about hometown and fallen heroes.

Guest speakers include Brigadier General John W. Heltzel, American Legion Department Commander Terry Rice and Auxiliary Department President Kathy Daudistel.

Pam Rice, whose son is currently in the Navy having been deployed once already, and will be again in January to Afghanistan, said a lot of planning goes into the memorial service each year including contacting families and the National Guard for guest speakers.

The public is encouraged to come in support of the service members, she said.

“It sounds cliché, but it’s really the truth — none of us really realize what they’re going through over there,” Pam Rice said. “We hear about it but we don’t really know. We’re so fortunate to have them over there protecting us.”

E-mail Metz Camfield at mcamfield@theandersonnews.com.