NKY Senators weigh in on meaning of Memorial Day 

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Today is Memorial Day, a day to honor veterans across our country, and Northern Kentucky leaders have weighed in with their thoughts on the day’s meaning.

These statements about Memorial Day are submitted from staff of the Senate Communications and are from the legislators.

Sen. John Schickel (R-Union)

The arrival of Memorial Day has come to feel like the start of summer, especially with so many students’ school years ending across the commonwealth. During the holiday weekend, families across our state will begin their yearly traditions and the memory-making we all enjoy.

These moments with family and friends would not be possible without the sacrifices of many who laid down their lives to bless ours. Properly honoring the memory of fallen service members demands a celebration with a heart of gratitude and a deliberate effort to educate our children on the significance of Memorial Day. I love the Florence Memorial Day service. I will be at the ceremony and look forward to seeing you there. Bring your kids because Florence does a great job putting this event together.

The City of Florence Memorial Day Parade and Program will be held Monday, May 29, 2023. It will begin at Boone County High School at 10:00 a.m. and end at the Florence Government Center.  After the parade, the ceremony will be held at the Boone County Veterans Memorial located at the Florence Government Center.

How fortunate are we to live as United States citizens and residents of our great state? As is evident in thousands having just cast ballots in the state’s primary election, no other country boasts the freedoms and privileges we enjoy in America, a country founded on religious liberty and the pursuit of happiness, no matter how one may define it.

Protecting those freedoms requires a military force like none other. Memorial Day was established to honor those who perished in the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in our nation’s history. In the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to fallen soldiers, decorating graves, and praying together. These memorial activities became a tradition.

I ask you to join me in memorializing the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

This time of year, I think of those from Boone County who lost their lives in Vietnam, such as Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Charles Fleek and others. I am fortunate to have played a role in honoring heroes like Sgt. Fleek through road-naming dedications here in Boone County. It’s a small means by which we can ensure they are never forgotten.

As you create cherished memories with your family this holiday weekend, engage in conversation with the young people in your life to ensure the special tradition of Memorial Day is not lost. Express to them the magnitude of the holiday. Freedom isn’t free.

Remember the words written by President John Adams to Benjamin Rush in 1808: “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” Remember our fallen heroes who fulfilled their obligation to their nation more than most others ever will.

It is my honor to serve as your state senator. I encourage you to seek a Memorial Day ceremony honoring our fallen military members among your other family traditions. I wish you and yours a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend.

Senator John Schickel (R-Union) represents the 11th Senate District in northern and central Boone County. He is Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee chair. He also serves as a Senate Banking and Insurance, Judiciary, and Natural Resources and Energy committee member

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Sen. Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown)

The arrival of Memorial Day each year is traditionally the start of summer, especially with students’ school years ending across the commonwealth. During the holiday weekend, families across our state gathered to begin their yearly traditions and the memory-making we all enjoy.

These moments with family and friends would not be possible without the sacrifices of many who laid down their lives to bless ours. Properly honoring the memory of fallen service members demands a celebration with a heart of gratitude and a deliberate effort to educate our children on the significance of Memorial Day.

How fortunate are we to live as residents of the United States and our great state? As is evident in thousands having just cast ballots in the state’s primary election, no other country boasts the freedoms and privileges we enjoy in America, a nation founded on religious liberty and the pursuit of happiness, no matter how one may define it. It is important to me as Senate Majority Floor Leader to support measures that respect and improve the lives of Kentucky service members. It’s not enough to honor the memories of those lost. We must show appreciation and support for those with us today. I am proud of the efforts of the Kentucky General Assembly to make Kentucky the nation’s most military-friendly state.

Protecting those freedoms requires a military force like none other. Memorial Day was established to honor those who perished in the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in our nation’s history. In the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to fallen soldiers, decorating graves and praying together. These memorial activities became a tradition.

I ask you to join me in memorializing the brave servicemen and women who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

Tragically, we experienced this here in Kentucky earlier this year. Nine Fort Campbell soldiers perished in March when two Black Hawk helicopters crashed. Join me in remembering these service members and the families and communities they left behind.

They were

• Staff Sgt. Joshua Gore, 25;

• Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, 36;

• Sgt. David Solinas Jr., 23 ;

• Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, 30;

• Sgt. Isaac J. Gayo, 27;

• Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32;

• Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy, 32;

• Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, 23; and

• Warrant Officer 1 Jeffery Barnes, 33.

I hope you created cherished memories with our family this holiday weekend and engaged in conversation with the young people in your life to ensure the special tradition of Memorial Day is not lost. It’s important we express to them the magnitude of Memorial Day. Freedom isn’t free.

Remember the words written by President John Adams to Benjamin Rush in 1808: “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” Remember our fallen heroes who fulfilled their obligation to their nation more than most others ever will.

It is my honor to serve as your state senator. I hope you and yours had a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend.

Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) represents the 17th Senate District, including Grant and Scott Counties, southern Kenton County, and northwestern Fayette County. He is Senate majority floor leader. Thayer is the longest-serving Republican Senate majority floor leader in Kentucky history. He serves as a member of the Senate committees on Agriculture, Licensing and Occupations, and State and Local Government. As Senate majority floor leader, Thayer is a member of the Legislative Research Commission, the Committee on Committees and the Rules Committee. Additionally, he is an Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee member.

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Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Ryland Heights)

The arrival of Memorial Day has come to feel like the start of summer, especially with so many students’ school years ending across the commonwealth. During the holiday weekend, families across our state will begin their yearly traditions and the memory-making we all enjoy.

These moments with family and friends would not be possible without the sacrifices of many who laid down their lives to bless ours. Properly honoring the memory of fallen service members demands a celebration with a heart of gratitude and a deliberate effort to educate our children on the significance of Memorial Day.

How fortunate are we to live as United States citizens and residents of our great state? As is evident in thousands having just cast ballots in the state’s primary election, no other country boasts the freedoms and privileges we enjoy in America, a country founded on religious liberty and the pursuit of happiness, no matter how one may define it.

Protecting those freedoms requires a military force like no other. Memorial Day was established to honor those who perished in the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in our nation’s history. In the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to fallen soldiers, decorating graves, and praying together. These memorial activities became a tradition.

I ask you to join me in memorializing the brave servicemen and women who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

Tragically, we experienced this here in Kentucky earlier this year. Nine Fort Campbell soldiers perished in March when two Black Hawk helicopters crashed. Join me in remembering these service members and the families and communities they left behind.

They were:

• Staff Sgt. Joshua Gore, 25;

• Chief Warrant Officer 2, Zachary Esparza, 36;

• Sgt. David Solinas Jr., 23 ;

• Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, 30;

• Sgt. Isaac J. Gayo, 27;

• Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32;

• Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy, 32;

• Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, 23; and

• Warrant Officer 1 Jeffery Barnes, 33.

As you create cherished memories with your family this holiday weekend, engage in conversation with the young people in your life to ensure the special tradition of Memorial Day is not lost. Express to them the magnitude of the holiday. Freedom isn’t free.

Remember the words written by President John Adams to Benjamin Rush in 1808: “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” Remember our fallen heroes who fulfilled their obligation to their nation more than most others ever will.

It is my honor to serve as your state senator. I encourage you to seek a Memorial Day ceremony honoring our fallen military members among your other family traditions. I wish you and yours a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend.

Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Ryland Heights) represents the 23rd Senate District in northern Kenton County. McDaniel is Senate Appropriations and Revenue chair and serves as an ex-officio member of each budget review subcommittee. He is a Senate Licensing and Occupations, and State and Local Government committee member. Additionally, McDaniel serves as a Public Pension Oversight Board member. 

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Sen. Shelley Funke Frommeyer (R-Alexandria) 

The arrival of Memorial Day has come to feel like the start of summer, especially with so many students’ school years ending across the commonwealth. During the holiday weekend, families across our state will begin their yearly traditions and the memory-making we all enjoy.

These moments with family and friends would not be possible without the sacrifices of many who laid down their lives to bless ours. Properly honoring the memory of fallen service members demands a celebration with a heart of gratitude and a deliberate effort to educate our children on the significance of Memorial Day.

How fortunate are we to live as United States citizens and residents of our great state? As is evident in thousands having just cast ballots in the state’s primary election, no other country boasts the freedoms and privileges we enjoy in America, a country founded on religious liberty and the pursuit of happiness, no matter how one may define it.

Protecting those freedoms requires a military force like none other.  Memorial Day was established to honor those who perished in the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in our nation’s history. In the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to fallen soldiers, decorating graves, and praying together. These memorial activities became a tradition.

I ask you to join me in memorializing the brave servicemen and women who lost their lives in the line of duty. Tragically, we experienced a great loss here in Kentucky earlier this year. Nine soldiers died in a March 29 crash when two Black Hawk helicopters crashed.  While not from Kentucky, it is fitting to remember these servicemembers and the families they left behind. 

Those who perished in the crash included: Staff Sgt. Joshua Gore, 25, from Morehead City, North Carolina; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, 36, from Jackson, Missouri; Sgt. David Solinas Jr., 23, from Oradell, New Jersey; Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, 30, from Mountain Brook, Alabama; Sgt. Isaac J. Gayo, 27, from Los Angeles, California; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32, from Rolla, Missouri; Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy, 32, from Cape Coral, Florida; Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, 23, from Austin, Texas; and Warrant Officer 1 Jeffery Barnes, 33, from Milton, Florida.

As you create cherished memories with your family this holiday weekend, engage in conversation with the young people in your life to ensure the special tradition of Memorial Day is not lost. Express to them the magnitude of the holiday.

 Remember the words written by President John Adams to Benjamin Rush in 1808: “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” Remember our fallen heroes who fulfilled their obligation to their nation more than most others ever will.

It is my honor to serve as your state senator. I encourage you to seek a Memorial Day ceremony honoring our fallen military members among your other family traditions.  I wish you and yours a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend.

Senator Shelley Funke Frommeyer (R-Alexandria) represents the 24th Senate District, including Bracken, Campbell, and Pendleton Counties and part of Kenton County. She is a member of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue; Economic Development, Tourism and Labor; Education; and Health Services committees. Frommeyer is also an Enrollment Committee member and Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee member. Additionally, she is a Budget Review Subcommittee on General Government, Finance and Public Protection member. 

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