Today Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William M. Landrum III, along with Adjutant General Stephen R. Hogan and Gold Star Families, re-dedicated the Capitol Education Center to honor Kentucky’s Gold Star Families. Governor Matt Bevin was a featured speaker as well as Gold Star Mother Lynn Romans.
Gold Star Families are families whose sons or daughters were on active duty with the military and lost their lives when engaged in action against an enemy of the United States.
“As my background is one of military service, I understand the triumphs and sacrifices our men and women in uniform, along with their families, have made—and continue to make with our military personnel being deployed worldwide keeping alive the freedom we enjoy today,” said Secretary Landrum. “We are here today to honor families whose sons and daughters paid the ultimate sacrifice for that service.”
“How appropriate in this week of Thanksgiving that we recognize those who have laid down their lives so that we may live in the land of the free and the home of the brave,” said Gov. Bevin. “More than 60,000 young people will walk through this hallway every year and will learn that freedom is not free—perhaps they will be inspired to be part of the next generation that will provide that degree of sacrifice.”
The Finance Cabinet has worked closely with the Department of Military Affairs and the Kentucky Chapter of Gold Star Mothers to design the photo collage, survivors quilt and other display items that now adorn the entryway of the center where thousands of students will be able to see them and learn about service defending the United States.
“Men and women serving in the armed forces are no stranger to sacrifice, but often we forget how much military families sacrifice, said General Hogan. “We’re very pleased Secretary Landrum is dedicating this facility to honor the ultimate sacrifice of service members, especially their families left behind. The state and nation owes them a great debt of gratitude and the rededication of this facility is great step in the right direction. We appreciate the support of Governor Bevin in this endeavor—it is welcome and valued by our Gold Star families.”
“The Gold Star is a symbol of honor that sadly most people don’t really understand the significance or sacrifice,” said Lynn Romans, a Gold Star Mother and speaker at the ceremony. “We’re so thrilled for this center that will help educate the public what the Gold Star symbol really means.”
The building that houses the education center was a dormant heating and cooling facility that was slated to be demolished. It was the idea of former First Lady Jane Beshear to re-purpose and re-furbish the building to make a modern, centralized meeting and learning space for student groups to use during their visit to the state capitol as part of their curriculum.
The Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Department for Facilities and Support Services is responsible for managing and maintaining state-owned and leased properties such as the Capitol Education Center.
For information on the Finance Cabinet visit http://finance.ky.gov/