MADISON COUNTY, Ky (LEX 18) Another day of remembrance has come and gone, but with this year marking the 100 year anniversary of the end of WWI, an EKU student is working to make Memorial Day last all year long.
A certain plaque has been displayed on the wall of the Madison County Circuit Courthouse, but its contents recently caught the attention of history buff Michael Shultz.
"I wanted to spend some time looking at what people did to deserve to be commemorated like that," said Shultz.
The plaque memorializes every man from Madison County who died during WWI, but Shultz wanted more. He started researching each name and trying to discover all of their stories.
"Another one is Jesse Dykes, he was actually the first of the Madison County soldiers to die," he said.
Shultz said there was one thing that was impossible to ignore.
"The first thing that you’re ever going to see about the plaque is that it has two separate lists, one for the white soldiers and one for the colored soldiers," said Shultz.
This made him want to pay special attention to the names on the list for African-American soldiers.
"They were fighting for the freedom of others that, in many ways, didn’t fight for them and that’s incredibly admirable,” said Shultz.
One name was Dee Walker, who was in the 807th pioneer regiment.
Shultz spent his Memorial Day cleaning the gravestone of Dee Walker, which he found in the Richmond Cemetery through his research.
"It’s personally rewarding for me to know that when the next generation comes along, if somebody like myself wants to find the grave of Dee Walker or Alexander Cornelison, that they can find them and that it’s not going to be some broken stone somewhere that you can’t read," he said.
Shultz wants to put all of his findings together in a collection and he needs the community’s help. If you are the family member of a person on the plaque and have documents or pictures from that person’s time in the military, send Shultz and email at email@example.com.