Monuments in Kentucky

Monuments in Kentucky
Known for its horse-racing tradition, Kentucky also provides numerous things to do on foot. The state's open and diverse landscape includes areas for hiking, mountain-biking, kayaking and more. Whether you're in the Appalachians or the Southern Lakes region, you can take turns with several activities while exploring the state on one of its many trails. Similar to the landscape, the state also features a diverse history. Check out unique looks at some of these chapters in the state's past by visiting one of its monuments.

Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Located in Kentucky's capital city, Frankfort, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands as a giant sundial. The designers engraved more than 1,100 names of Vietnam veterans from Kentucky onto the monument's granite plaza. The stainless steel gnomon rises above the ground at a calculated angle to cast a shadow on each name on the anniversary day for that veteran's death. According to the memorial website, the shadow gives "each fallen veteran a personal Memorial Day."

Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Coffee Tree Road
Frankfort, KY 40601

Trail of Tears Statues

Located in the Trail of Tears state park, near Hopkinsville, sits two monuments for Cherokee tribesman, Chief Whitepath and Fly Smith. The statues call attention to the removal of the Cherokee tribe from Georgia, between 1838 and 1839. Forced out of their homes, the Cherokee people marched approximately 1,000 miles to Oklahoma. More than 4,000 people died along the trek. The path taken by the tribe became known as "The Trail of Tears." The Hopkinsville park represents a site where the Cherokees travelled and camped in Kentucky. Chief Whitepath and Fly Smith died at the location while attempting the journey.

Cherokee Trail Of Tears Commemorative Park
East Ninth Street
Hopkinsville, KY 42240‎

Jefferson Davis Monument

Located outside of Fairview, the Jefferson Davis Monument towers above the surrounding countryside. The obelisk monument stands 351 feet tall (the tallest unreinforced concrete obelisk in the world). Built to recognize the only president of the Confederate States of America, the site was chosen for its proximity to Davis' birthplace. The obelisk rests on a foundation of Kentucky limestone with a base made of seven-foot-thick walls. You can ride an elevator to the top of the monument for a panoramic view. The site underwent major renovations between 1999 and 2003. Improvements included a new visitors center, museum and handicap accessibility.

Jefferson Davis Monument
258 Pembroke-Fairview Road
Pembroke, KY 42266

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