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1st Adair Veterans Valentine Day turns out perfectly

"From this day forward, when you hear and sing the National Anthem and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, may chills tingle your spine, make a lump in your throat, as you remember those who served." - ROBERT FLOWERS
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By Ed Waggener

Those who attended the February 14, 2011, Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and the dedication of the Adair Veterans Memorial Highway will never forget this Valentine's Day.

There was a day with perfect springlike weather after weeks of numbing cold and cabin fever.

The perfect show of unity primarily between the City and County, the CJE and the Mayor.

There was a perfect keynote speech by Bank of Columbia President Robert Flowers.

The perfect summation, at the end, "We can never do enough for our veterans."

And the unspoken responsive resolution, "But we should never cease to try."


An eloquent address by Robert Flowers

Robert Flowers, who comes from a family of distinguished military men, rendered the following words in his keynote address. He was introduced by Mayor Mark D. Harris, who, in turn was introduced by CJE Ann Melton. The text of Mr. Flowers' prepared address follows.
Representative Carney, Judge Melton, Mayor Harris, Special Guest Hilda Legg, Fiscal Court members, City Councils, Veterans Citizens one and all:

I am very humbled to stand before you today, not so much as a keynote speaker, but to reflect on those we honor today in renaming the Columbia Bypass.

I begin by admitting that so many of us live with regrets, some more significant than others.

One of greatest is that I never served in the armed forces of the United States.

As I finished college in 1972, the Vietnam War and Draft had ended and there was a cute gal on Guthrie Street that want to marry and raise a family. Let me make this perfectly clear - I did not regret marrying Mikki Snow, only not serving in the military! I did spend one summer working for Randall Pyles, one of the best generals under whom anyone could serve!

On behalf of my brothers and family, I want to express my gratitude for the recognition given to our dad, Alfred Flowers, especially in the short time before his death. As a ball turret gunner in a B-17 with 39 combat missions, he was our hero, but he quickly exhorted that others did as much or more! I am proud that every generation of my American family until my children have served in a military conflict from the Revolutionary War to the First Gulf War.

My reflections today are not about family or the pride I love to share about the history of their service. It is about the love, admiration, and respect we have all all our veterans.

It was wonderful growing up in Columbia in the 50's and 60's--riding my bike to town and hanging out (hanging, today)--I got to know Lynn Jeffries, Pleas Grimsley, Bill Walker, Nolan Cundiff, Grover Gilpin at the G & M Grill); Edgar, Fred and Jimmy Troutman, along with many others.These men seemed to relay to me things I heard at home. There was something in their personalities of which, even as a youngster, I marveled and pondered.Mom and Grandmother were quick to remind me that these men were war veterans and I should always always show respect that they so aptly deserved for their service to our country. I learned much from them.

The years quickly passed. I became entrenched with those who were veterans and my interest grew in their stories and the sacrifice they made for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Some were lost in World War II. I feel cheated that I never knew Alfred Harper (Battle of the Bulge), Edwin "Minor" Harmon, and Buldge Edrington (Pacific), but so proud to have come to know Raymond Martin, Remus Howard, Marvin Hutchison, Brooks Coomer, Sgt. Edgar Holmes, H.W. Roach, Lee Smith, Milton Stephens, Paul Keneipp, Billy Joe Morris, James Collins, Luther Colins, J.C. "Joe" Sparks, from World War II.

And from Korea: Kenneth Scott, Bill Spicer, Dan Royse, and Herbert Graves, "my cousin,"; whose heroics were most likely not properly recognized due to his race. Thank God we have overcome this injustice and all are recognized for their service to our country.

As a maturing teen, our country was engaged in the horrors of the Vietnam War. So many of my classmates and friends served and represented to the world the desire that all the earth should experience democracy and the freedoms we enjoy in America.Some of them were Joe Hare, Curtis Hardwick, Rudy Higginbotham, Bill Conn, L.B. Smith, Russell Guy Perkins, Larry Rooks, Jimmy Harper and so many others.

Some did not return. Fifty thousand were lost. The most solemn experience is to visit the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, and rub your hand over the names of those fallen soldiers: David Owen Biggs, Billy Curry, William Overstreet, and Frankie McGowan.

Sadly, only in recent years have we properly recognized and shown our appreciations for these veterans. Let us continue that process!

Today many serve our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are in Harm's Way. Pray for them. Respect them. Thank them wherever you meet them. Let them know that we are proud of their service to promote the American Way of respectful lifestyle for all the human race.

And I recall days at work when my late great friend, Ivy Collins French, would become so frustrated with me when I would stop and spend countless hours with Earl Conover (Bataan Death March), Orby Burton (European Campaign) and Raymond Young (Normandy Landing, Omaha Beach). I'm glad I did, and Ivy, if you're listening instead of talking, you'll just have to forgive me as you kept my customers entertained!

Let me say that, from this day forward, when you hear and sing the National Anthem and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, may chills tingle your spine, make a lump in your throat, as you remember those who served.

It has not been my intent to proclaim or exclude the name of any veteran today, but to reassure you that any name mentioned is representative of all who served our great country.

Regret? Yes, I still have that, but I rejoice for joy I have also; that from those veterans mentioned and found in our memories, who molded my soul. They have all taught me pride, work ethic, integrity, love and last but not least, patriotism.

Today we will name and dedicate a highway which leads us to a safer passage to our destinations and a roadway to greater economic prosperity, just as our veterans have given us the road to freedom and a lifestyle envied by the whole world! It is not just fitting that we honor them with dedication, it is the right thing to do.

The next time you travel that byway, slow down, say a prayer for those who served our country.

Thank you, and God Bless our veterans.

God bless Adair County and God Bless the United States of America.
Rep. Bam Carney speaks

Rep. John "Bam" Carney spoke briefly, following the keynote address.

He told the veterans that as long as he is has a breath, "The young people I teach will know about the sacrifice you've made for our country.

Carney introduces Adair Countian Hilda Legg

Carney introduced Adair Countian Hilda Legg, who is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State.

She said that as Secretary of State, that the number one thing her office will do is to make sure Kentucky has fair elections. "That's what you fought for, that we in America can always cast our votes in fair and honest elections."She said that she would, as Rep. Carney promised he would, "Continue to teach Kentucky's school children about civic responsibility. In fact," she said, "I see that as one of my primary roles as Secretary of State, to be the state's civics teacher.

Judge Melton recognizes Edgar Holmes

Judge Ann Melton recognized Edgar Holmes, a World War II veteran who was born in 1921, who had observed his 90th birthday on February 13, 2011.

She asked Mayor Mark Harris to lead the group in singing "Happy Birthday" for Mr. Holmes, then served a special cake baked just for him.

School Board furnishes two school busses

The Adair County Board of Education furnished two school busses to transport the veterans and dignitaries to the dedication on what is now the "Adair Veterans Memorial Highway."

Bus No. 20 was driven by David Jones, Director of Student Transportation.

Tammy Wilson speaks for KHD

Approximately 100 gathered beside Campbellsville Road with Tammy Wilson, Kentucky Highway District 8 in Somerset, KY. She brought greetings to the Veterans from the Governor and the KHD.

Lisa Lee estimates 200 served at breakfast

Lisa Lee, Administrative Assistant to Adair County Judge Ann Melton, and Patty Nall, Secretary in the CJE's office estimated that around 200 people were served breakfast.

The menu included eggs, biscuit and gravy , sausage, country ham, jelly, butter, and juice, coffee and milk.

Cooking for the event started at 6amCT for the 8am-9:30 event.

Lisa Lee, Judge Melton, and Patty Nall prepared the Gravy, Eggs, and Sausage in the basement of the Adair Annex, next to the event hall.

A.L. Sinclair, Adair County Solid Waste Coordinator, cooked the country ham in the Adair County Regional Jail kitchen next door. Adair County Finance Officer Gale Cowan prepared the bacon, and Judy Derman, the biscuits.

Staff from City Hall helped serve, including City Clerk Sonya Roy, along with Sonya Roy, Jada Coomer, Ann Marie Austin, and Tiffany.

There was a lot of food: One whole country ham, 15 dozen eggs, 14 big pans of sausage gravy, 17 dozen biscuits, 10 pounds of bacon, 30 pounds of sausage, and gallons of juice, coffee and milk.

Judge Melton sent special thanks to businesses which donated food for the event. "I especially thank the vendors who made our Veterans Day Breakfast a reality. Several of you made this a good day for all involved. there around at the breakfast. Everyone seem to enjoy themselves. I certainly appreciated the kind gestures."Those who contributed were:
  • PFG Lester & Co., Phill Trotter: Sausage

  • Sysco, Wally Richard: Sausage

  • Southern Foods, Allen Upchurch: Sausage

  • Betty's OK Country Cooking, Betty Olmstead

  • Southern Belle Dairies: Milk and Orange Juice.

  • Green River Produce, Doug Campbell: Eggs
  • Walmart. Robin Smith: Donuts, Milk, Orange Juice, Bacon, Jelly, Margaine, Forks, Coffee, Cups, Cream and Sugar
"I thank everyone for your help," Judge Melton said. "It was a wonderful day."


This story was posted on 2011-02-14 17:58:39
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Robert Flowers: Slow down and say a prayer



2011-02-14 - Adair Annex, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
"The next time you travel that byway, slow down, say a prayer for those who served our country," Adair County Veterans Appreciation Breakfast keynote speaker Robert Flowers told the gathering of those who convened for the event on Valentine's Day, 2011.

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Judge Melton, Mayor Mark D. Harris



2011-02-14 - Adair Annex, 424 Public SQ, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Adair County Judge/Executive Ann Melton and Columbia Mayor Mark D. Harris planned, organized, and took turns with emcee duties at the Adair County Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and dedication of the Columbia Bypass, now officially "Adair Veterans Memorial Highway."

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Rev. Haynes signs birthday card for Edgar Holmes



2011-02-14 - 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Rev. Lewis Haynes, pastor of Plum Point Baptist Church, signed the birthday card for Edgar Holmes, who was recognized for attaining his 90th birthday on February 13, 2011.

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Ann and Edgar Holmes



2011-02-14 - 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Judge Ann Melton gave a warm hug to World War II veteran Edgar Holmes, as part of his birthday celebration at the Adair County Veterans Appreciation Breakfast.

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First ever school bus ride for Garnett Baker



2011-02-14 - Four Hundred Quadrant, Public SQ, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
World War II veteran Garnett Baker, a resident of Old Portland in District Five of Adair County, took his first school bus ride Monday morning, he said. He'd written buses before, he said, but the trip on an Adair County School District Bus from Adair Annex to the Adair Veterans Highway Dedication was his first time to ride a school bus. "We walked to school," he said, of his early days attending Maple Grove School. Baker will be 85 years young on June 18,2011.

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Group with new sign for Adair Veterans Memorial Highway



2011-02-15 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Several groups posed with the new sign honoring the Adair Veterans Memorial Highway: From Left, above, Judge Ann Melton, Secretary of State candidate Hilda Legg, Navy Veteran of WWII George Keltner; Iraq I Veteran Chester Whittington; Veteran Joe Hare, Veteran Joseph Silkowski, (TBI), Veteran Charles Sparks, Tammy Wilson, Kentucky Department of Highways, and Veteran Vernon Curry.

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Schoolmates: Robert Flowers and Bobby Bowe



2011-02-15 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Robert Flowers Columbia, KY, left and Bobby Bowe, of The Flatwoods in Adair Co., KY, were schoolmates at Adair High School back in the 1960s.

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Schools provided transportation



2011-02-15 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway - Photo by Linda Waggener.
The Adair County School District provided transportation from the Adair Annex, downtown, to the Adair Veterans Memorial Highway dedication. Above are, Orvis Grider, left the driver for Bus No. 49, and Adair County School Superintendent Darrell Treece. The AVMH bridge over Russell Creek is in the background.

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Iraq I Vet Chester Whittington, Squire Joe Rogers



2011-02-15 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Chester Whittington, left served in Iraq I, Desert Storm, with the Kentucky Army National Guard. With him is Adair County Senior Magistrate Joe Rogers (6). Six of the seven Adair County Magistrates were present for the veterans events.

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Korean War veteran Vernon Curry



2011-02-15 - Adair Annex, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Korean War Veteran Vernon Chester Curry shares a private moment with Sue Stivers. After the war, Curry had a long career as a very popular employee of the Bank of Columbia, and, in retirement, he was a top golfer at the former Pinewood Country Club.

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About to make a maiden voyage



2011-02-15 - Adair Annex, Downtown Columbia, Ky - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Bill Janes a veteran of World War II, had never ridden on a school bus until Monday, February 14, 2011. When he was attending Leatherwood School near Nell, in Western Adair County, he walked to school. Much of the way through the creek.

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WWII vet Brooks Coomer interview on WAIN



2011-02-15 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
WAIN radio's Lisa Fisher-Clark interviewed World War II Army Veteran (Homer) Brooks Coomer, whose civilian career included a long tenure as principal at Adair County High School. At right is U.S. Navy veteran George Kolbenschlag.

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Mayor Mark D. Harris and Administrative Staff



2011-02-15 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway - Photo by Linda Waggener.

Mayor Mark D. Harris and his administrative staff at Columbia City Hall were together for this photo at the Adair Veterans Memorial Highway dedication February 14, 2011. From left, they are Jada Coomer, Ann Marie Austin, Sonya Roy, (the Mayor), Rhonda Loy, and Tiffany Collins. The staff provided wait service at the breakfast which preceded the event, at which Councillor Robert Flowers was the key note speaker. Also attending from the City were Councillor Linda Waggener and Chief of Police Jason Cross.

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Veteran Joe Silkowski



2011-02-16 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Veteran Joe Silkowski left no doubt about his choice for the next Kentucky Secretary of State: Knifley, Adair Co., KY, native and Adair County High School and Campbellsville University graduate Hilda Legg - Chester Humphress' girl. Ms. Legg, a featured speaker at the Veterans Appreciation Breakfast on Valentine's Day, 2011, was shown overwhelmingly enthusiastic support during her homecoming at the events.

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Veterans Day: Judge Elliott, Commander Luttrell



2011-02-16 - 424 Public SQ, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Retired District Judge Roger Elliott left and Columbia VFW Post No. 6097 Commander Jimmy Luttrell, were among the large gathering for the Veterans Appreciation Breakfast on Valentine's Day, 2011. While serving as judge, Mr. Elliott was a resident of Liberty, KY, but now resides in Columbia.

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Veterans Highway dedication: Gary Melton, Vietnam Veteran



2011-02-17 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
From an Adair County family whose members have served in many wars, former Adair County Sheriff Gary Melton served in Vietnam.

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Vietnam Memorial Highway: Joe Hare, Vietnam



2011-02-17 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Vietnam War Veteran Joe Hare attended the AVMH dedication ceremony in National Patriot Riders gear. His patriotic family has sent men to serve in World War II, Korea, and Vietham. In the left hand side of the photo, from left, are Sixth District Magistrate Joe Rogers, talking with Billy Murrell, World War II veteran. Members of the Adair County Murrell family have fought in the nation's battles from the War with Mexico, to World War I and World War II.

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Veterans Appreciation day: A hero, deep in thought



2011-02-17 - Adair Annex, 424 Public SQ, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
A quiet hero Retired Kentucky State Police Officer John Humkey is one of Adair County's most honored citizens. Though most know of his exemplary civilian service, not so many know that the Marion Co., KY, native is also a hero of the Korean War, where his actions earned a Silver Star, one of the nation's highest military awards. The Silver Star is given for "gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States."

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Sammy Baker, five other magistrates, at Veterans events



2011-02-18 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
Adair County Third District Magistrate Sammy Baker attended the Veterans' Appreciation events on Monday, proudly wearing an American flag on his cap. He was one of six members of Fiscal Court at the events; also present were Harold Burton (2), Perry Reeder (4), Billy Dean Coffey (5), Joe Rogers (6) and Billy Rowe (7). Present from Columbia City Council were Robert Flowers and Linda Waggener.

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Councillor at veterans event to remember father



2011-02-18 - Campbellsville RD at Adair Veterans Memorial Highway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Robert Flowers.

Columbia City Councillor Linda Waggener
attended the dedication of the Adair Veterans Memorial Highway on Monday as a representative of the City and of Campbellsville University, but, most of all, to honor the memory of her father, the late Earl Reid Marcum, Sulphur Well, Metcalfe Co., KY. "As far as I'm concerned, we can never do enough for veterans," she said. It was a phrase heard often on Valentine's Day, 2011.

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World War II: James Edwin Shirley



2011-02-18 - Adair Veterans Memorial Highway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener.
James Edwin Shirley of the Bliss Community of Adair County and a member of Columbia VFW Post 6097 and a US Army Veteran of World War II, made his from the dedication of the Adair Veterans Memorial Highway. Two members of the Shirley family are listed in the CM Adair Veterans List. Sadly, other, Cpl. Archie W. Shirley, the son of Harry O. and Ada Skaggs Shirley, of Milltown, was killed in action in France on December 4, 1944. For the complete list of those killed in action from Adair County in World War II, click to Adair Countians who died during World War II

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