Sept. 2, 2015
For Immediate Release
By Rachel DeCoursey, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Tony Grider’s name will officially become part of the Johnny Edrington Memorial in Campbellsville’s Miller Park during a special ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11.
Grider, 41, a captain with the Campbellsville Fire Department, died on Sept. 20 of last year following an accident about a month earlier at Campbellsville University on Aug. 21.
During that accident, Grider and other firefighters were injured when a ladder truck came into close proximity to a high-voltage power line during an ALS Bucket Challenge involving the Campbellsville University Marching Band.
The Johnny Edrington Memorial honors Kentucky State Trooper Johnny Edrington who was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 21, 1988.
“Emergency personnel risk their lives each and every day to serve and protect us,” said Stan McKinney who was chair of the Miller Park Garden Association which planned, raised funds for and built the memorial.
McKinney is also a member of Campbellsville City Council and an associate professor of journalism at Campbellsville University. Grider’s death, he said, impacted the entire community, and his service will not be forgotten.
The memorial was designed to honor all emergency service personnel and to memoralize those killed in the line of duty.
Edrington was the first, McKinney said, and the hope was there would never be a need to place another name on the memorial.
The memorial was designed by the late Jerry Bennett. It consists of metal pyramids representing each emergency service, all pointing toward Heaven.
“Sept. 11 seemed the idea time for the service because of what that date means to all of us,” McKinney said. “Plans are to have an annual service at the memorial each Sept. 11 to recognize those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and to honor those who put themselves in harms way to protect us every day.”
Special music for the ceremony will be presented by representatives of the Campbellsville University Marching Band under the direction of Jennifer Tinnell, director of bands and instructor in music at Campbellsville University.
“We are very sensitive to what the family is still going through,” Tinnell said. “Our hearts go out to them. We continue to remember them in our prayers for all that they are still dealing with and will continue to deal with.”
The ceremony will begin with an opening prayer and then a brief history of the memorial presented by McKinney.
The colors will then be posted while the National Anthem is performed. Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young will then speak, followed by Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers and Campbellsville Fire Chief Kyle Smith.
Smith will then assist members of Grider’s family with the unveiling of the plaque bearing Grider’s name and the date of his death.
After a closing prayer, “God Bless the USA” will be performed.
Smith said he was pleased that Campbellsville University will be part of the ceremony.
“Our relationship with Campbellsville University is second to none,” Smith said. “We will always go out of our way to assist them in anyway we can.”
The ceremony is open to the public.