LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE News)
A Louisville Memorial Day tradition is now 20 years old.
Two fallen servicemen were enshrined into the Patriots Peace Memorial Monday, a monument that exclusively honors members of the U.S. armed forces who died in the line of duty, under conditions other than hostile action.
U.S. Air Force First Lieutenant Scot Ames, Jr. and U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Kenneth Robertson were given the honor after both died in the line of duty in 2021.
Ames, 24, was serving as a flight instructor based at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, when his plane crashed on February 19, 2021, near Montgomery, Alabama, killing him and a student pilot.
Robertson, 19, was killed on July 20, 2021, during a kayaking accident, while on authorized leave visiting family and friends in Kentucky.
“You always know that can happen to your kid, but you just … you know it’s always a possibility, but you never dream it would happen to yours,” Scot Ames’ mother Ginger Ames said. “He loved what he did and to see his name and to see all these people here to honor him, you have to be a little bit proud.”
“[I’m] proud, proud of him,” Robertson’s father Robert Robertson said.
“We’re very proud of Kenny,” Robertson’s mother Mary Robertson said. “And we appreciate everything, but we’re very, very proud of Kenny.”
To honor the fallen servicemen, the Patriots Peace Memorial Committee engraved their names in panes of glass and presented them to the families. At a later date, the committee will install them inside the monument.
When the names are added, two concrete bricks will be removed, signifying a “portal of light” transforming the interior by day and radiating outward at night through each name, as a daily reminder to celebrate the joy of freedom safeguarded by these brave men and women
“Until you’re sitting in that chair at a funeral and they hand you that flag, and they play taps and they do the 21-gun salute, it becomes a very different meaning for you,” Ginger said. “It’s a huge honor, but it’s very surreal.”
With the additions of Ames and Robertson, the Patriots Peace Memorial now represents the service of 459 service men and women from the Louisville region, who have been memorialized since 2002.
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