The Kentucky chapter of Honor and Remember participated in the national Run for the Fallen for the first time in 2018. The run, which began last April in California, came through Kentucky near the end of June. This year the run will take place at a state level, September 7 and 8, with the starting point of the race in Owensboro and the finish at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West in Hopkinsville.
Kentucky’s Run for the Fallen is a 110-mile run where relay teams stop every two miles to say the names of each of Kentucky’s fallen heroes since the bombing of the USS Cole.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires a $4 million dollar insurance certificate in order to conduct the run, which will cost the Honor and Remember chapter $1,700.
In order to cover the costs involved and ensure a successful race, a fundraiser will be held Sunday, July 14, from noon to 4 p.m. at VFW Post 696 on the riverfront. The Kentucky chapter of Honor and Remember will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as conducting a silent auction.
“Honor and Remember honors Gold Star families and honors those who have been killed in action or because of service PTSD,” said Kentucky Chapter President and Race Co-Director Leslie McCarty. “Our focus is to give specially-designed flags to these families. We have seen the impact giving these flags has had.”
The Honor and Remember organization was created by George Anthony Lutz, Sr. after his son George, Jr. was killed by a sniper’s bullet in Iraq in 2005. George, Sr. discovered there was no universally recognized symbol that specifically acknowledged the American servicemen and women who died in service to their country and never made it home.
McCarty said the chapter will not only present flags to Gold Star families, but to organizations that have been instrumental in the support of these families — as a way of saying thank you.
“We hope to have a great turnout with Gold Star families — we really want them to come out and honor their loved ones,” McCarty said. “This year, there will be a different route. We have about six flags that have been requested across the state of Kentucky — we would like to present them on the day of the run. There are going to be several bike groups involved. Some amazing things will happen as we get near the end of the day.”
Along with Army veteran and race co-director Chris Conley, McCarty said the chapter is hoping to conduct a race from Fort Knox to Fort Campbell Army base in 2020.