In Frankfort ceremony, Gold Star families make sure loved ones are never forgotten

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Gold Star family members were recognized in a Mother’s and Family’s Day Commemoration Ceremony in Frankfort Sunday afternoon.

They were joined by veterans, service men and women and Governor Andy Beshear around the memorial monument.

“It is important to me that Darrin’s life and story never be forgotten,” said Lynn Romans, the Gold Star Mother of Sergeant Darrin Potter.

Sergeant Darrin Potter was a Kentucky National Guardsman. He wanted to become a police officer. He loved to travel.

“I think all moms say this, but it’s true,” Romans said. “He was very likable, very quick-witted, very intelligent.”

And on September 29, 2003, at 24 years old, Sergeant Potter was killed while on active duty.

“It’s really strange. Some days it’s harder than others. You know I make the trek to the graveyard every year and put something on his grave because I know his unit will be there to visit it,” Romans said.

With her son’s passing, Lynn Romans became a Gold Star Mother. It’s an honor she shares with Gold Star Daughter Tyra Anderson. An honor neither of them ever wanted.

“It’s that dreaded knock on the door and realization that at 16 years old, you will never see your dad again,” said Tyra Anderson, Gold Star Daughter of Captain Timothy S. Anderson.

Captain Timothy S. Anderson died in 2011. Speaking in front of the Memorial Monument unveiled just last year, Tyra Anderson described just what it means to be a Gold Star Family.

“It’s the strength of your mom who had to bury her high school sweetheart and take care of you and your siblings,” she said. “It’s high school graduation and looking into the crowd, not seeing your dad.”

It’s years of empty seats at holidays and missed life events. But now, because of the Woody Williams Foundation and the monument outside the Capitol, the names, stories and lives of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Kentucky is only one of five states to have a Gold Star Family’s Memorial Monument on the grounds of its Capitol.

There is also now a QR Code on the monument to connect family members with resources through the Woody Williams Foundation.

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