Walk of Honor to celebrate veterans, active duty military

Published 7:52 am Friday, May 10, 2024

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The Harlan County Walk of Honor is returning for the second consecutive year to honor military veterans and active service members from Harlan County. The Harlan County Walk of Honor first appeared in 2023.
According to City of Harlan Tourism’s Visit Harlan Facebook page, the Walk of Honor will follow a path around Huff Park.
Laura Adkisson, Harlan Tourism Downtown Development Coordinator, talked about the Walk of Honor during a recent interview.
“During July when we’re all thinking about our country and feeling patriotic, we wanted to honor our active military and veterans who have a connection to our community,” Adkisson said. “We’ve given families and friends the ability to honor the veterans and military members in their life by purchasing a banner that has a photo and information about the person and their service.”
According to Adkisson, the banners will be displayed around the Huff Park walking track.
“We will leave the banners up for the entire month of July so that everyone who comes to the park can enjoy them and reflect on their sacrifices,” Adkisson said.The idea for the Walk of Honor came about out of a desire to say thank you to those who have served in the military.
“It came out of a desire to honor our veterans and to encourage people to be in our downtown,” Adkisson said. “It felt like a great way to do both of those things.”
Adkisson mentioned the Walk of Honor is up long enough for people to come from out of town to observe the exhibit.
“By having it there for a month, it gives people the opportunity to travel in to see their family member’s banner,” Adkisson said. “It also allows people to see how many people have served from our area, and maybe even to inspire more generations to serve.”
To include a veteran or active service member in the Walk of Honor, bring a photo to the Harlan Center in downtown Harlan on or before May 28. Information about the honoree such as name, branch of service, highest rank achieved, total years of service, and if they were designated MIA, POW, or KIA will also be needed for the banner. Photos will be scanned while you wait and returned to you.
For new participants there is a $30 fee. Last year’s participants may have their banner from last year included again this year for $10.
“We want to encourage everyone to honor the veterans and military members in their life with one of these banners,” Adkisson said. “If you don’t have that connection, definitely still make plans to come down during the month of July and view the banners. You might see some much younger photos of some people that you know very well, and you may learn something about your friends and neighbors.” 

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