The City of Berea was officially recognized as a Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame city Tuesday night when Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley accepted a proclamation from the veterans organization.
Vietnam veteran Emerson McAfee made the presentation on behalf of the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame as part of his ongoing campaign to encourage other local governments to formally recognize their veterans by becoming a sponsoring city. Berea now has a Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame city sign on U.S. 25 advertising the city’s membership in the organization.
McAfee said the next step in the process is to nominate a Berea resident to be formally recognized and honored in 2019. With that in mind, he noted he plans to nominate Chester Elkin, a World War II veteran who served in the Okinawa Island chain of the Pacific Theater. Elkin, now 99, manned an Allied air field that accepted surrendered Japanese military planes and flight crews at the end of the war, McAfee said. McAfee noted he has been spending time with Elkin recently, interviewing him in preparation for nomination for the hall of fame honor this year. Veteran Charles Flood, of Richmond, is also up for the honor, according to the Richmond Register.
In accepting the proclamation, Mayor Fraley expressed appreciation for McAfee’s efforts. “Mr. McAfee, thank you for the time you’ve spent with Mr. Elkin, and for the efforts on behalf of the veterans in our area and Kentucky,” Fraley said. “Also, if you would express our gratitude to your colleagues in the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame. We are truly appreciative and we are proud to be a hall of fame city.”