Sen. McConnell, VFW honor fallen veterans at Cave Hill Memorial - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Sen. McConnell, VFW honor fallen veterans at Cave Hill Memorial Day service

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Memorial Day, dozens, including Kentucky Senator and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, gathered at Cave Hill National Cemetery to honor the sacrifice of men and women in uniform who gave what Abraham Lincoln called, “the last full measure of devotion.”

More than 6,000 veterans are buried at Cave Hill. Row after row, they are a silent testament to the cost of freedom.

For Tess Faust, the sacrifice has a face. Her son Aaron, a Marine, died in Afghanistan in 2012.“These are very hard events to attend, but it's necessary. It's necessary to honor him and all of the others that have served,” Faust told WDRB News. The Gold Star Mom joined others for the annual VFW Memorial Day service at Cave Hill.

Marine veteran John Newton and wife Tammy brought their grandchildren. “We just hope they understand that these people are normal people, and they gave their lives. That's it,” said Newton.

His grandson, Reid Baker, appears to have gotten the meaning of the day. “That's it's very important because of the people serving our country, and they died for us,” he said.

Bob Shader was there honoring those who served with him in Europe in the 1950s. “It means a lot to me, for the men who served our country, and those that didn't come back,” said Shader.

Sen. McConnell spoke of the continuing sacrifice of those in uniform, fighting an elusive enemy.

“I think our current challenges are even more difficult because the challenge of terrorism is not necessarily based in any one country. These terrorists groups move around from country to country. It's not a possibility of surrender,” McConnell told WDRB News.

But McConnell says it is a battle the new generation of heroes will win.“No matter what the challenge is, we'll confront it, and we'll defeat it,” he said.

For all on this sunny but somber day, it was an opportunity to pause and reflect on those who gave all to defeat enemies past.

That reflection was punctuated by a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.“Wherever the bodies of comrades lay, there the ground is hallowed,” said VFW Chief of Staff Carl Kaelin. 

The ceremony lasted less than one hour, but the graves remain an everyday reminder that, for many families, the sacrifice extends well beyond Memorial Day.

Related stories: 

Sen. McConnell speaks out about terrorism at Memorial Day remembrance

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