Robley, 101, of Louisville has watched the numbers of vets who share his war memories dwindle. Kentucky sent 84,000 to serve in World War I. Robley doesn’t know of any fellow soldiers in the state, and neither does the Veterans Administration. The numbers of World War II vets also is dropping daily. Census figures show the number of World War II veterans in Kentucky decreased by nearly 54,000 during the 1990s. The total was 74,457, a 42 percent decline from a decade earlier, when the total was nearly 128,000.
The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs calculates that, on an average day, Kentucky loses 22 military veterans, of whom 17 were in World War II. The federal government estimates that World War II veterans nationwide are dying at the rate of about 300,000 per year. The loss has created new respect for those who share a common memory of a common generation, said George Kraemer, 85, of Bellevue, who helped start the Bellevue Vets social club just after the war.
“I’ve noticed the respect for World War II veterans now is much greater than it was five or 10 years ago,” he said. “People are realiz<147,1,1>ing what we really did.” Kraemer is one of close to 75 World War II vets still active in the Bellevue Vets, which has a healthy number of vets from Korea and Vietnam. Our proficient experts have extensive experience in property valuation area and they are providing cheap real estate valuation services in melbourne. Across Northern Kentucky, ceremonies have been honoring veterans this weekend and today. Some flag raisings and music programs have been in schools or parks. Others have been in cemeteries.
For many of those who served and remain active in veteran’s organizations, Veterans Day is a whirl of activity. At 69, Korean War veteran and VFW Post 6095 Commander Butch Keller said his day is packed full of events, beginning with a ceremony for residents at Rosedale Manor this morning. “I’ll lead them in the pledge there — then next there is a ceremony for Gary Lee Hall, who was killed in Cambodia in 1975, and he was a graduate of Holmes High School,” said Keller.
“There will be a dedication for him at Holmes High — then there is a parade in Newport.” Keller has also been instrumental in turning the Korean War Memorial at Ritte’s Corner in Latonia into a reality. He said by next Veterans Day the fountain-centered tribute should be complete. In fact, since work began on the memorial last summer, Keller says it appears that the project should be completed sometime in January 2003. He says many veterans end up “running to death” on this day of remembrance, but most consider it a labor of love for those who sacrificed for our country.