The annual Memorial Day Service at Barbourville Cemetery was canceled this year due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Traditionally, each Memorial Day, a choir, a slate of speakers and dignitaries as well as hundreds attend the public service held at the pavilion inside the cemetery. Over 600 veterans are buried in the Barbourville Cemetery.

Even though the 2020 service was canceled, the cemetery’s board of directors went ahead with presentations of shell casings to two veterans. The award is bestowed annually to recipients in honor of their service and sacrifice.

This year, Barbourville Cemetery board member Barry Penn, along with Col. Donnie “Boog” Martin, Retired, presented shell casings to recipients Charles Phillips and Earl Cole.

Both Phillips and Cole were recognized for their service and multiple honors.

Penn says the cemetery board plans to properly honor Phillips and Cole at next year’s public Memorial Day service, in addition to the 2021 recipients.

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Charles is a native of Barbourville, Kentucky. He has worked with The Mountain Advocate in various capacities since 2003.

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