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War Heroes

Bedford’s Fisher among veterans
to be honored at ‘Patriotic Festival’

New Castle Main Street Program expands 2014 event

NEW CASTLE, Ky. (June 2014) – Statistics show that the United States loses 600-1,000 World War II veterans every day. Within five years, most members of the “Greatest Generation” will be gone.
When New Castle (Ky.) Main Street Manager Jeff Thoke realized that out of the 16 million veterans who participated in World War II, only about 1.5 million are still living, he knew something had to be done quickly to honor them.

Veterans

Photo provided

This group of veterans will be among those honored at Patriotic Festival on June 14 in New Castle, Ky.

“We wanted to do something special for our local World War II vets,” said Thoke. The result is to honor them in the upcoming New Castle Patriotic Festival, formerly known as the New Castle Spring Fling. The event will be held on from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 14, in New Castle.
“Generally, this event has been a small festival,” said Thoke. This is the 32nd year for the Spring Fling and second year for the name change, which came about as a result of the success of last year’s festival when veterans were honored for the first time.
“We have around 15 vets we will be honoring this year on June 14,” said Thoke. “We are making all of the World War II vets grand marshals of the parade and will be honoring them after the parade at 11 a.m.”
The lineup for the day begins with the parade. Following the parade at 11:30 a.m., presentations will be made on the Henry County Courthouse square to these American heroes of the “Greatest Generation.” From noon to 2 p.m. the public will have the opportunity to meet and greet the veterans at the New Castle First Baptist Church, 47 E. Cross Main in New Castle. There will also be a small display of World War II memorabilia available for visitors to view.
Ongoing activities throughout the day include the Henry County History Center & Museum, open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., a silent auction held in the rear of the Courthouse from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and arts & crafts, flea markets, food booths and city-wide yard sales from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Entertainment will include Dave Stahl, the Country Kickers Line Dancers, Cowboy Posse, Megan Stout and Tim Pearson. From 2-6 p.m., a car-truck-motorcycle show will take place. The Fred Astaire dance troupe of La Grange will perform from 5:30-6 p.m., and a Street Dance featuring Untamed Country from 6-10 p.m.
Veterans from Henry, Trimble, Oldham and Shelby counties will be present, depending on their health. Thoke believes this may be one of the largest gatherings of World War II Vets in Kentucky in recent years. Participating in the festival will be vets who battled their way across France into Germany, vets who fought in the Pacific and other vets who flew over the “hump” in the China Burma India Theatre of World War II.
One of the veterans, Glenn Fisher, will take part in the Honor Flight from Louisville to Washington, D.C., on June 6. Fisher, 87, of Bedford, Ky., enlisted in 1942 at age 15. He spent 18 months in Europe, landing on D-Day. Fisher was on the front lines operating 50-caliber machine guns and 40mm anti-aircraft guns.
In addition to Fisher, the tentative list of names includes: Fred Balke (91, Crestwood), Alfred Williams (89, New Castle), Bill Pollard (96, Pleasureville), Herschel Raymer (89, Eminence), Woodrow Payton (92, Campbellsburg), Herman Stanley (92, La Grange), Herbert Williams (92, New Castle), Dee L. “Pete” Raymer (92, Smithfield), Roy Winchester (88, Bethlehem), and Howard Griffin (87, Crestwood).

• For more information, call (502) 645-5421 or visit: www.NewCastleKy.com.

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