Kentucky guardsmen who died in the line of duty honored during Frankfort ceremony

KY National Guard Memorial Day Observance in Frankfort
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 12:07 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky officials honored those who have died in the line of duty by adding five names to the Kentucky National Guard Memorial in Frankfort during a Memorial Day ceremony.

The additions bring the total number of names on the memorial to 291 soldiers and airmen since 1912.

“By lifting up the five fallen soldiers whose names are being added to the Kentucky National Guard Memorial, etched in the monument behind us, so they will never be forgotten,” said Governor Andy Beshear.

Those names - Private John W. Hodge, Private Bernard J. Berghaus, Corporal Lloyd j. George, Captain Cecil D. Butler and Lieutenant Colonel Joseph M. Kelly.

“Of each of our servicemembers we’re remembering here today, I would offer for everybody that it’s not just the person in uniform, but it’s their family that also bears the responsibility, the burden of service,” Maj. Gen. Haldane Lamberton, adjutant general of the Kentucky Army and Air National Guard.

Of the new names, one died in 1919 following federal service on the southwest border. One in 1937 following state active duty in Louisville during the Geat Flood of 1937 and three others who died during World War II.

“It’s a sacred promise that we’ve given our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, coastguardsmen, that you will not be forgotten. Particularly, those who have died in the line of duty,” said Dean Stoops, U.S. Army retired.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, which is why many choose to say the names of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty to keep their memory alive and to honor them on this day.

This year’s ceremony also commemorates the 20th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom a war in which 14 Kentucky national guardsmen died in the line of duty.