Veterans' cemetery

(From left) Ernie West, Kentucky’s Medal of Honor Recipient, Senator Robin Webb and Gov. Steve Beshear together hold the $6,187,799 ceremonial check that will be used to build the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North East in Greenup County. The cemetery is expected to be up and running by next year. .

What a day it was when the Department of Veterans Affairs presented the commonwealth with over $6 million to build the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North East.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place Friday at the Industrial Park in Greenup County as dignitaries from across the state – and even the governor – met on site to celebrate the upcoming construction of the cemetery.

“This has been a long time coming,” Carter County Judge Executive Charles Wallace said prior to the ceremony. “I have written numerous letters to get this in eastern Kentucky and the location here will be wonderful.”

The total price tag is expected to be $6,187,799 and will make the northeast location the fourth veterans’ cemetery in Kentucky.

Among those attending the event was Kentucky’s Medal of Honor recipient Ernie West, who received a standing ovation from the large crowd.

Senator Robin Webb made remarks and said she was proud to complete her first official act as senator during the ceremony. “There is no better way to start my job off than with my veterans,” Webb said from the podium. “I want to thank Gov. Beshear for his support in making his happen. My dad was a WWII vet, and I had an uncle that didn’t make it back from war. Their spirit is with me and you are with me. This makes me even more proud to be from eastern Kentucky.”

Instrumental in getting the grant money was Frank Salvas, Sr., State Cemetery Grants Program chair with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, who also was asked to say a few words at the event.

“Only one year ago we were out here and walked the 87 acres of this property,” he said. “And I want you to know that one year from now we expect to have it up and running. This will be your cemetery and not mine. We all have the opportunity today to show our respect and support for our veterans, and in one year I will come back and we will dedicate it to them.”

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