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Leaders gather in Veterans Park in Lexington to honor veterans and their families

Posted at 2:29 PM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-11 17:21:13-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Community leaders gathered in Veterans Park in Lexington on Monday to honor veterans and their families for their service to our country.

Among those in attendance were Mayor Linda Gorton, Councilmember Susan Lamb, Congressman Andy Barr and a representative from the Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs.

The ceremony took place with more than 2,080 veterans residing in Kentucky in mind.

"...we need to thank them and, you know, their service, their belief in what our country stands for," said Gorton. "And so it's very important to me, as a mother and a mother-in-law of active duty service members. The wife of a retired Army man. I mean, it's the least we can do."

Gorton highlighted Lexington's efforts to be more veteran-friendly with the addition of the Veteran's Affairs Commission and the new liaison in her office.

"We are especially happy about ending Veteran homelessness here in Lexington," said Gorton. "We have a system set up so that when we find a homeless person who is a veteran, they go right into the system, get housing, and treatment."

Gorton said that Lexington has more plans in the works for 2020.

"Most important thing for me is that our citizens take time to know who the veterans are around them," said Gorton. "Is it your neighbors? Is it your coworkers? Is it a friend you had no idea they served in the military? And let them know you're appreciative."

On Monday, Barr spoke specifically about veterans who exemplified extreme heroism.

"I want people to know that one day is not enough," said Barr. "That the service and sacrifice of these veterans and their families is so significant that we need to remember them every single day."

Barr also expressed the significance of a recent operation.

"Just recounting the story, the recent mission to take out Baghdadi in Syria is just something that kind of underscores how we need to appreciate the incredible efforts that these men and women perform every single day to keep us safe," said Barr.