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EKU unveils new Veterans Memorial Site at Carloftis Garden

Richmond Register - 11/5/2023

Nov. 4—On Saturday morning, Eastern Kentucky University and its office of military and veteran affairs hosted a ribbon cutting for their brand new Veterans Memorial Site in Carloftis Garden on the campus of EKU.

Congressman Andy Barr, Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley, Richmond Mayor Robert Blythe were all in attendance with Barr and Blythe speaking during the event.

The new site inside of Carloftis Garden, on Lancaster Avenue just to the south of the main entry walkway, holds not only the initial wall that was at the center of campus but several granite benches with names of servicemembers. Some of whom were in attendance, while others have passed away.

The fallen soldier statue was also moved over to this location. Family and friends of EKU are allowed to hang dog tags on the statue. The hope of hanging the dog tags on the stainless steel frame around the fallen soldier is to create the effect of windchimes.

"We're here today to make sure that those who have served and have given (the ultimate sacrifice) will have their names available always," Mayor Robert Blythe said.

Blythe, who is also a reverend, quoted the story of the twelve stones from the fourth chapter of the Book of Joshua from scripture.

"They were to do (take the stones) because of generations, and they were instructed to do that and told that when in the time to come, the children shall ask... 'What do these stones mean?' You are to tell them that this is the way by which God has brought you to where you are," Blythe said.

Blythe continued to use the story to illustrate that freedom isn't always free.

"I feel the same here today, that this stone will remind those who come and are able to see it this is the way, these are the people who have given so that we enjoy what we may enjoy," the Mayor said.

Also speaking was Cathy Robinson, telling the story of her father, First Lieutenant John Curtis Stringer. Robinson's father was posthumously promoted to Captain. According to the POW Network, he has been listed as "missing with honor" as his body was never returned to the nation he served.

The event finished with a ribbon cutting to officially open the site to the public.

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