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Guardian Angel Statue Memorializes Ft. Wright Residents that Have Fallen in Battle

State and local officials, along with many military veterans and residents, gathered Saturday at the Fort Wright City Building to honor those who have fallen in battle. The effort to install the memorial was spearheaded by Dan and Fran Lee, whose son Daniel Tyler Lee—a 2003 Dixie Heights graduate and a decorated Green Beret—was killed in battle in Afghanistan on January 15, 2014.

The sculpture installed was created by artist Greg Wyatt, a renowned bronze artist whose works are displayed around the world.

“There is a commitment to making people respond in ways that are perhaps not reached by words, but perhaps are reached by the noble nature of art,” Wyatt said. “Serving our country, there is no greater cause.”

Also in attendance were US Congressman Thomas Massie and State Senator Chris McDaniel, who is an Army veteran.

“When I was in the Army, our command sergeant major had a simple plaque on his wall that read: I am the United States Army Soldier. I fight where I am told and I win where I fight. This is the nature of a professional soldier like Dan Lee. Someone who is willing to put everything on the line for people he will never meet, and to protect for them an idea that is nearly impossible to define: Freedom,” McDaniel said on the podium. He then recited Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken.

Daniel Lee's family was in attendance and his mother, Fran Lee spoke about Guardian Angel Garden.

“This garden far exceeds our dream of a two-foot statue,” she said. “The Guardian Angel expresses to us, that during the most dire of times, we are never alone. Whether in the battlefield, or our own backyards.”

The ceremony was concluded with a 21-gun salute provided by members of the Elsmere VFW and Taps was played by Kenton County Sheriff Charles Korzenborn.

Funds for the project were donated by the Newington Cropsy Foundation.

Story & photos by Bryan Burke, associate editor

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