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SHEPHERDSVILLE – Though Memorial Day is officially celebrated the last Monday in May, many traditionalists and military veterans will tell you the original designation was set as May 30.
Many of those people will further tell you that Memorial Day is more than a three-day weekend to grill burgers and open the pool.
On May 30 a special Troops Support Walk will take place in Shepherdsville, honoring both fallen soldiers as well as those currently serving in foreign lands.
The walk will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday beginning at the Shepherdsville VFW Post 5710 headquarters on Highway 44 West.
Participants will complete a two-mile trek down the highway, ending at the Bullitt County Courthouse.
Around 2 p.m. guest speakers will address those in attendance. Included on the speakers’ list are Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts and Shepherdsville Mayor Sherman Tinnell.
Members of the Family Worship Center originally planned the event. Pastor Randy Pace said the idea escalated following the recent death of American soldier and Bullitt County native Gary Lee Woods, Jr. Pace said members of Woods’ extended family attended the church.
“Memorial Day was established to remember those that lost their lives as well as active duty and Reserves,” said Pace. “Those guys (Reserves) are at home now but they could go at any time. We also want to recognize their families that have to live with that.”
Pace credited church member and event co-chair Juanita Rogers for organizing the event. Rogers said other current news events, especially the recession, have taken some focus from active troops still overseas.
“We want to let them know we still support them,” she said. Rogers and Pace said everyone asked to help with the event responded both immediately and positively.
“We’ve been well received by all that we contacted, even with a short deadline,” said Pace. “I think everybody’s concerned. It’s all about our soldiers.”
Along with Roberts and Tinnell, guest speakers will include a local retired WWII Navy veteran, Chief Petty Officer Bob DeVore, along with an active duty representative from Ft. Knox.
Also speaking will be Bullitt County History Museum director David Strange, who recently attempted to collect a list of Bullitt County soldiers’ names that lost their lives in the line of duty throughout all wars.
Pace said the History Museum, located in the front rooms of the courthouse, will remain open to the public throughout the event. A special guest speaker Pace mentioned was Woods’ mother-in-law, Elaine Houston. Pace said Houston planned to read a letter she presented during Woods’ memorial service.
Pastor Rusty Watson from Beech Grove Fellowship Church will lead participants in traditional patriotic song.
A stage area for the speakers will be created near the memorial stone in front of the courthouse. Pace said everyone was welcome to attend the event, even if they did not participate in the walk. He also encouraged participants to bring lawn chairs to the courthouse if they are not able to stand for a long period of time.
Pace said the Trinity Life Center, located at the midpoint between the VFW post and the courthouse, was allowing participants to park and walk from their lot. Shepherdsville Police units will monitor the walk area, assisting walkers across the street as necessary.
Pace said shuttle service would be provided following the speaking event. Participants would receive free rides back to the VFW and TLC lots.
“I have just been amazed at how many have shown this attention,” Rogers said.
For more information on the Troops Support Walk call 543-3658 or 922-4069.