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Veteran HOF monument delayed

Owensboro Convention Center (Owensboro Convention Center/Facebook)

A new monument to honor veterans who have gone above and beyond for their communities was supposed to be unveiled in November, but will now have to wait until next year.

Officials for the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation, which is spearheading the project, announced Monday during a luncheon at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum that the granite needed for the monument will not arrive in time for a ceremony that was planned for Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

Tim Rolf, who owns Rolf Monuments of Newport, has been contracted to design and erect the monument.

Rolf, who attended the luncheon, said he’s “ready to go” but he likely won’t receive the granite until the end of December or early January because of international shipping delays.

“I think everybody is aware of supply chain issues,” said Rolf, whose company has been in business for 34 years. “I know, being a veteran myself, how important Nov. 11 would be, but there’s no way it’s going to make it.”

A site for the nearly 8-foot-tall black granite monument has already been designated by the city. It will be erected next to the Owensboro Convention Center — a grassy area in front of the pier.

The Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation was established in 2012 by H.B. Deatherage, and two years later held its first induction ceremony.

“We started off in Frankfort at the Capital Plaza (Hotel); we outgrew that the first night,” Deatherage said.

At one time, Deatherage said he looked at other cities, with Owensboro being a contender, to host the induction ceremony.

“For the veterans that come from the other parts of the state, it’s a long haul to get here and a lot of them are older,” he said. “So I didn’t think the response would be great being down here.”

However, Deatherage said the foundation’s contract in Lexington runs out next year, and it may consider Owensboro again for the 2024 and 2025 inductions.

Adrian Bambini, regional governor for the foundation, has been working with city officials and local sponsors to fund the $10,000 monument.

Bambini said the project is fully funded and an alternate date for the unveiling ceremony will be announced once the granite arrives and is ready to install.

He added that the Hall of Fame monument bears the names of veterans who continue to “go above and beyond” for their communities once they leave the military. And each year, nominees are sought within its 11 regions, with Daviess County falling into Region 7.

Daviess County will be the host community of the Green River area, consisting of 11 counties. Names from all 11 counties will be selected through an annual application process.

“The unveiling will be a significant event,” Bambini said.

Three members — Keith Cain and Mike Robinson, both of Daviess County, and Harold Leasure of Hopkins County — from Region 7 were inducted as part of the Class of 2022 during ceremonies held in August in Lexington.

Cain is a Vietnam Marine veteran who did his tour between 1969 and 1970. He also served as Daviess County sheriff for 22 years before retiring in December 2021.

“It’s an honor and humbling to me to be recognized when you realize there are so many more people who could be here in my stead,” said Cain, who attended the luncheon. “… I accepted the recognition on behalf of the countless other veterans of this community who are equally worthy, but went unnoticed.”

Since its start, the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation has inducted more than 200 veterans across the state.

For more information about the organization or how to submit a nominee go to


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