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On the local veterans tribute
I am sure we all are aware that the purpose of the Hardin County Veterans Tribute is to honor the service and sacrifice of those who have so nobly defended our nation and the freedoms we enjoy.
But let me shed some light on the other side of the story. The plan for this tribute began in 2008. It was the brain child of Gary Broadway, who had seen a similar tribute to veterans while traveling.
He, his wife Donna, Rik Hawkins, Mary Smith and Rich Grendling formed a group to secure funding and have the tribute constructed with statues provided by Rich Grendling as a tribute to veterans.
Their choice of locations for the tribute was at the to-be-constructed Elizabethtown Nature Park on Ring Road a short distance from exit 94 off Interstate 65. This location was conducive to visitors travelling I-65, a primary north-south corridor between Michigan and other northern states and Florida and other southern states.
The tribute, when complete, undoubtedly will bring a great many tourists to the Elizabethtown area, where they will dine and visit the tribute, Fort Knox and other areas of interest in the community.
This tourist trade undoubtedly will generate a considerable amount of tourist spending in our area, having a significant economic impact.
In addition to the economic impact, the tribute and tourism generated by it will resonate to a good many other states and let them know the heartfelt affection that Hardin County and Kentucky have for those who so valiantly have served our nation. It would be difficult to find a more win-win situation anywhere.
Herin lies the problem: A majority of the funding already has been secured for the tribute, however as in any endeavor of this kind, the last mile or so is the most difficult. That is the stage where the committee finds itself today.
It is time for the committee, which has worked so hard to make this dream a reality, to ask for our help. That means its time for every Kentuckian who has ever served or sent a son, husband, father, daughter, wife or mother off to war to step up and be counted.
Heartland Coalition of Military Veterans