Community remembers veterans on Pearl Harbor Day
“We gather here, on this memorable day known as Pearl Harbor Day, we pause to reflect and honor our fellow comrades who are serving, who have served and have made the supreme sacrifice in the defense of our great nation. Let us not forget what they have done to keep our country free and to protect our Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” said Tom Petznick, President Captain Charles Duncan Chapter Sons of Revolution, on Saturday morning in the Butler County Courthouse lawn.
A ceremony was held on the courthouse lawn “In Remembrance” of those who have served and are serving our country. Melissa Johnson and children sang the National Anthem to open the ceremony.
Keynote speaker Dennis Robbins, Head of the History Department at Butler County High School, honored the sons and daughters of Butler County who have served in the armed forces.
“Butler County was first settled by Major James Forgy who served during the American Revolution. Major Forgy served under General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox,” whom Mel Gibson movie, The Patriot, is based upon. After the war, Major Forgy came west as a pioneer and settled in the Mud River region near Quality.
Butler Countians also answered the call during the Civil War fighting for both the North and South. Specifically, there were a large number of Butler County boys to fight at the battle of Shiloh where 24,000 men fell in two days.
Robbins also spoke of the Spanish American War and the First World War where once again, men from Butler County served their nation with pride. Then, there was World War II. This war lasted 2,174 days at a cost of 27,000 lives per day. In the fall of 1940, 16 million men registered for the draft as more and more looked to America to save the world.
“On this very day, 72 years ago, December 7, 1941, our armed forces were once again thrust into war. Butler County did not shy away from the call to arms. We honor men like my grandfather, Alvin Pendley, who stood at destiny’s doorstep ready to defend his home; and men like A.C. Hocker, who parachuted into enemy territory on D-Day with the 82nd Airborne and captured the town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise,” said Robbins.
“Butler County answered the call in every branch of the military and every major conflict that this great nation has been involved in, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the War on Terrorism. I cannot express the courage and sense of duty that is required to be an American soldier. They teach us what it is to be an American,” said Robbins.
P.R. Webster of the American Legion, Tom Petznick of SAR , and Sharone Nash of the VFW laid the wreath in the Butler County Courthouse lawn in memory of those that served. Veteran Doug Odle played Taps. Veteran Geoffrey Henderson gave the benediction.
The SAR also placed wreaths at Riverview Cemetery and Bell Street Cemetery.
According to Roger Givens in his book , African American Life in Butler County, Kentucky, “ On June 22, 1893, W.S. Taylor, who later became Governor of Kentucky, gave land “out of respect of the colored people of Butler County. The land is located at the end of Bell Street in Morgantown and was theirs “to have and to hold said lot as a perpetual grave yard for the use of the Colored people of Butler County, Kentucky forever.”