Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Northeast
The Kentucky Veterans Cemetery opened on September 10th, 2010. The cemetery is reserved for Kentucky service members who either served in Kentucky military institutions, were born in Kentucky, or lived in Kentucky. By 2017, over four hundred veterans have been interned at the cemetery including two soldiers who were killed in action after the cemetery was dedicated.
Backstory and Context
The cemetery has several monuments, including one that honors veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, a monument for two local Medal of Honor recipients, a memorial for gold star families, and a carillon tower dedicated to all veterans. Sometime in the future, a Vietnam War Memorial is planned. The cemetery is seventy-five acres and is open to the public.
The Medal of Honor memorial is dedicated to John W. Collier and Ernest E. West, both from Greenup County and both Korean war Medal of Honor recipients. Greenup County is the only county in the United States to have two Medal of Honor recipients from the same war after World War II. John Collier was awarded the medal after single-handedly destroying a machine gun nest and then jumping on a grenade to save his fellow soldiers.
Ernest West earned his medal during a mission to capture enemy soldiers for interrogation. While moving into enemy territory, West and the others came under heavy rifle and grenade fire. West assumed command after his lieutenant was wounded by an exploding grenade, he ordered his men to retreat before braving enemy fire to save the wounded lieutenant. After saving the lieutenant, he once again braved enemy fire to rescue another soldier, during that rescue he was wounded by an exploding grenade, but once again returned to save a third soldier.
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