WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — For the first time, the Woodford County Veteran's Commission and Woodford County Library are coming together to host a special ceremony honoring prisoners of war and missing in action veterans.
One presenter reminds the crowd that "POW/MIA recognition day was first established in 1979, on the demand of 2,500 families of Vietnam War POW/MIA's."
Alyssa Gullery, a navy veteran, had a special gift for the families of heroes being honored in wooden dog tags.
Gullery shared, "We put their name on it and then put the POW/MIA sign with the 'You are not forgotten,' so that they can keep this forever."
Gullery and her husband served and made four dog tags in their home shop. She wants families to have these tags and remember that their loved ones were more than POW's and MIA's but special people to them and their community.
She says, "I just hope that they hang on to all those amazing memories of those family members."
Four heroes were honored at today's ceremony, and even more, names were mentioned. Organizers say this is just one of many ways that they hope to continue to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Logan Nance from the Woodford County Veteran's Commission says, "It's really important for the families to see that we have not forgotten. The sacrifice that they made and their loved ones made."
Nance, who is also a former army veteran, says as a father he was thrilled to see the participation from all of Woodford County's schools. He hopes ceremonies like this one encourage younger generations to keep learning and celebrating service members.
Nance shares, "You know, I know I served in the military so that my children would hopefully never have to learn about war. Hopefully, war would be something that happened in the past for them. It's really important that the younger generation understands what sacrifice was made so that we don't take for granted the freedoms that we have today."
Another presenter, who attends a Woodford County middle school, said in a part of his speech, "These individuals have been selfless, patriotic, and willing to give their lives for the benefit, the betterment of my life, your life, and the citizens of the great country we live in."
Gullery says there's an important takeaway from today's ceremony. She says, "It's important for them to know that our freedom isn't free, and somebody paid the ultimate price and how to go through horrible, horrible situations so that we can have this beautiful place that we call home today."