Lawmakers Shed Doubt on State Funding of 5191 Memorial

The memorial banner that hundreds if not thousands of people signed in the aftermath of the Comair crash is now among the historical planes and memorabilia at the Bluegrass Airport Aviation Museum.

Airport and government leaders are talking about a permanent memorial, and Governor Fletcher called on the state to help pay for it.

“I don't think that the state will get into funding it this year,” says Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville.

However, Senator Buford believes a memorial is needed, but he says it shouldn't be built where every air traveler can be reminded of the disaster.

“However, it would be certainly permissible and I think appropriate to have some memorial that would be close to the proximity, but not visible to the proximity of traffic that comes in and out of the airport,” says Buford.

House Speaker Jody Richards said Tuesday that Kentucky lawmakers should focus their attention on helping family members of the victims, instead of the state funding a memorial.

Richards was speaking of the bill that would let spouses sue over loss of companionship.

“But a real memorial, as many of the widows and widowers that spoke to the General Assembly said, a real memorial will be to change the law and to recognize the huge problems, areas in their lives they have lost,” said Rep. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington.

“And it's important. It's something that has been covered in other states and it's been overlooked here for years. Now is the time to address the issue,” said Rep. Susan Westrom,

So far, there's been little, if any, talk in the Capital about the memorial.

“No, not at all. I've not heard a word. Not from any special group. Not from anybody,” said Westrom.

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