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Kentucky Veterans Memorial expanding

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Commemorative bricks being sold for $100 each

By Sharon Graves

If you missed out on buying a personalized brick when the Kentucky Veterans Memorial was built at General Butler State Resort Park, you’ll soon have a second chance.

The original bricks pave portions of the walkway to the monument and the ground in front of the large, free-standing stones that honor each branch of the military. They were sold to raise money for the project, and are engraved with the names of veterans.

Jim Mosgrove and Shelby Bickers, two members of the memorial board, have made 165 more bricks available, and already have sold 10.

“Bricks are $100 each, and $20 of that goes for the engraving of the brick and the rest goes for the upkeep of the memorial,” Mosgrove said.

The monument, he said, was a dream of Bickers, Bill Reed and Jack Perkins, who started on the project in the early 1990s, Mosgrove explained.

“It is a first-class memorial,” Mosgrove said. “When you drive around and look at others you will see this is a great memorial.”

“The only ones bigger are in Washington, D.C.,” Bickers said

Dedicated July 2, 2000, fund-raising started with 50-50 pot drawings at American Legion Post 41 in Carrollton.

“We’d make $10 or $15, and I got to thinking, how many of these are we going to have to have to make $50,000,” Mosgrove said.

The project really got under way with a $20,000 state grant, obtained with help from Paul Marcotte, a state representative from Union, Ky. Mosgrove credits Dennis Goff with the idea of selling the engraved bricks, “and that’s where we got our revenue.”

The memorial was dedicated July 4, 2000. In addition to the monuments to the armed services, prisoners of war, Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11, 2001, there are benches that honor Post 41 and Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, the Carrollton unit of the Kentucky Army National Guard.   

Also adorning the monument are the U.S., Kentucky, POW and the American Legion flags.

The entire monument is illuminated at night.

Bickers said it was selling the bricks that provided the group with enough money to get the monument built.

It also took the donation of labor and materials from Luhn and Oak Construction Company of Carrollton.

“This had to be dug out by hand, and they sent workers over here to dig out the entire area,” Mosgrove said.

Originally the board purchased 1,240 bricks for the walkway and the area immediately in front of the standing stones.  

“When we first started we thought it will take us forever to sell this many bricks. But it didn’t.” Mosgrove said.

One of the bricks honors former Carroll County resident (then Gallatin County) Christopher Boyer, 1752-1832, as a Revolutionary War veteran and the oldest of soldiers listed at the monument.

Mosgrove repeatedly referred to Boyer as Chris, as if he were a long lost family member.

“Chris is in that bunch of graves that are being moved off the Nugent Sand property and re-interred in the [Saint Peter’s] Lutheran Church cemetery,” Mosgrove said.

Boyer actually has three bricks with his information from the Revolutionary War and his name and dates, according to Mosgrove and Bickers.

There are also two bricks for Staff Sgt. Nicholas Ray Carnes, the Carrollton National Guard soldier killed in the unit’s last deployment to Iraq.

The pair seems to know where everyone’s brick is located. They talk over the names on the bricks and about the veterans’ families, and reminisce about old friends.

For information about buying a brick for the memorial and having it engraved, call Ellen Foster at Cayton Realty/Century 21, (502) 732-6691, or stop by the Highland Avenue office for an order form.