HAZARD — The Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center joined in a nationwide day of honor for WWII vets Friday with a ceremony held in the Veterans Center auditorium. Spirit of 45 is an effort to promote awareness and express appreciation for local veterans who fought in what the world has come to know as The Great War.
Although 71 years have passed since Japan surrendered to the United States, there are still many WWII vets alive today in every region across the country. Hazard’s Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center is home to 20 men, who enlisted to serve their country and headed overseas to fight after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Shirley Slaven-Conley opened the ceremony by singing wonderful renditions of patriotic songs, including the National Anthem. Perry County Clerk Haven King addressed WWII veterans in attendance and thanked them for their service at a pivitol time in world history. Birchel and Linda Keavy of DAV Chapter 150 donated a quilt hand-crafted by Minnie Thompson to the center in honor of the veterans.
Over 60 million people died during WWII, with many of those casualties consisting of young men from the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky. The soldiers who fought the war against the Axis Forces helped shape the entire structure of America and the world as we know it today. On Aug. 12, the Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center said thanks, which is something all of us should remember to do every day.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.