Kentucky Road Runners raise flag in advance of Memorial Day
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- In just a week we will be honoring the men and women who have died fighting for our country, but one group in Frankfort is getting a head start.
Kentucky Road Runners Motorcycle Club dedicated a new flagpole Monday in honor of those who gave their lives.
To the veterans in attendance it is not just a flag on a pole. It is a reminder of the past and a lesson for the future.
“It’s peace. Peace in my heart and head,” Joseph Kenney, a member of the Vietnam Vets and Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club, said.
When you ask anyone, who is to get the credit for the flag raising, they all point to a man who just got cataract surgery yet insisted on being present, Hoss Cartwright.
He is a Vietnam veteran, and ever since, he has continued fighting, for recognition.
“People died for this flag, people went overseas and never came home on account of this flag so we’ve got to honor them and talk for them,” Cartwright said.
Talking for them is exactly what Cartwright does. When his bike club moved their meetings to Jim’s Seafood, Cartwright went to the owner, Gary Arnold, and asked if he would install a flag pole.
“Oh, yeah, I thought it was great. Of course, he asked me in front of 30 people and I couldn’t have said no,” Arnold said.
He did not want to say no, though.
“I’m very honored they have come to me for this,” Arnold said.
He donated the flagpole. Bike club members laid the concrete and placed the plaque. It says, “Freedom isn’t free”. That is the message Cartwright and his crew want to send, especially to young people. It is something Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton, a veteran herself, believes in
“If young people don’t know the significance of all these conflicts, all the veterans who sacrificed to keep this nation free, then they will lose freedom on their watch,” Hampton said to the crowd.
For these veterans, every day is Memorial Day. They just want to make sure you feel the same way.
Preserving memories is a never ending process for some of these veterans. In fact, some of them are taking their bikes to Washington, D.C. next week. They plan to hang POW/MIA flags all along the way. Veterans at the ceremony also spoke about the importance of honoring newer vets since they say 22 returning vets commit suicide every day.