Keeneland honors service members

Sunday was Keeneland's "Heroes Day" for military, first responders and healthcare workers.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – For over a decade Keeneland has hosted an event called “Heroes Day”, where service members, first responders and healthcare workers are honored with a special day full of friends family and the races, free of charge.

“Everyone is so grateful for the sacrifices that our service men and women make for us,” says Kara Heissenbuttel, Keeneland director of patron experience.

Keeneland officials say a day like this is important because these heroes are often underappreciated and this is Keeneland’s way of telling them thanks.

“We are so enriched into the community and so to be able to thank these families for their sacrifice, we are just so grateful to be able to have them and to honor them,” says Heissenbuttel.

“At the end of the day, it makes it special to see people that you serve and just the appreciation that comes along with it from them. The ‘thank yous’ and it’s an honor, it’s an honor to be here and to serve,” says Lexington firefighter Jason Hatter.

One tradition of Heroes Day includes the Henry Clay High School JROTC taking the field to unfurl the American flag. During the presentation, spectators all sang out to ‘God Bless America’. It was a beautiful day to honor those present and serving, but those missing or passed were not forgotten. One of the Rolling Thunder chapters of KY set up a booth to talk with patrons about our prisoners of war (POW) and service members missing in action (MIA) and what can be done to help.

“Our mission is to keep the POW MIA in front of everybody, in front of the public,” says Allan Rice, chaplain for Rolling Thunder KY chapter 5. “We won’t really rest until we get as full in the county as we possibly can.”

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