- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A memorial for fallen Kentucky National Guard members has opened to the public after a dedication ceremony.

The ceremony for the new memorial was held Monday at the Boone National Guard Center.

In their speeches, Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen and Kentucky National Guard Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini said the memorial isn’t only for fallen guardsmen but for their families as well, multiple media reported.

“Every military family has their own story of sacrifice,” Luallen said. He was referring to the relatives of the more than 230 fallen guardsmen whose names are etched into the memorial made of granite. “Kentucky has so much to be proud of.”

The memorial, which includes a statue of early Kentucky leader Daniel Boone, was made possible by more than $1.4 million in private donations.

“We had a lot of dedicated people who thought this was the right thing to (make),” Tonini said.

In addition, soil from each of Kentucky’s 120 counties was provided to make the base of the monument.

“(That was) so all of Kentucky could participate in the creation of this wonderful monument,” Tonini said.

Luallen said the memorial recognizes those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and should represent the need for people to teach their children the values, respect, responsibility and serving the greater good.

“The memorial serves as a reminder that freedom isn’t free,” Luallen said.

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