Historic 125 year old Hoskins Cemetery on Island Creek Hill in Clay County, Kentucky
Editorial by Brent Willoughby
Recently my wife, Thresa Willoughby, posted an apology for not being involved sooner in the efforts to preserve the Hoskins cemetery. Truthfully the blame is mine and I should be the one apologizing.
Tragically this past year we lost both my Mom and Dad 17 days apart after they both lost a fight with COVID-19. In the aftermath of that loss my wife was so focused on me and my well-being that she placed all of her energy and efforts into ensuring my physical and mental health. Thankfully God has saw fit to sustain us during this time and in dealing with all of the things a family has to deal with after the loss of loved ones.
She did state that she never thought it would get this far and that is how we both felt. We were never aware of any public meetings or hearings and I can only surmise that was due to the "drawing in and shutting down" process that so often accompanies the mourning period. With that being said I would like to apologize to everyone in this group and every person who has a loved one at the Hoskins Cemetery that we were not involved from the very beginning.
Having recently lost my parents and struggling from day to day, grief is fresh in my mind. The grief that I have witnessed from my wife, my In-laws, and other families over the desecration of the Hoskins cemetery reminds me just how sacred the preservation of a family cemetery is.
My parents are fortunate enough to be buried in a city owned cemetery in Boyle County Kentucky and therefore there are state agencies who have some (not a significant amount) of oversight of their resting place. Upon speaking to a representative from the Attorney Generals office earlier this week it was baffling to me that there is next to zero oversight at the state level for the preservation of private and or family owned cemeteries. I truly believe that if this atrocity can occur in regards to the Hoskins cemetery than it will set a dangerous precedent and no cemetery in the Commonwealth of Kentucky will truly be safe whether public or private.
If the Clay County Board of Education purchased this property with taxpayer money has it not become a publicly owned cemetery? Or do we as taxpayers have no say in how our money is spent? We have reached a point in time that we no longer have a "representative" government at any level. It recently came to my attention that at an earlier vote not one single magistrate in this county opposed the relocation of the Hoskins cemetery. It has become a "go along to get along" political atmosphere and people fear being ostracized or ex-communicated from the good graces of the school board.
The board being one of the largest employers within the county and such a huge part of an impoverished economy gives them a huge amount of influence. Contractors, subcontractors, newspaper advertisements, local businesses, federal and state grant money (think Covid), school tax that is imposed on every resident of the county in the form of utility surchages, property tax surcharges, employees who work in Clay county/ Manchester probably have school taxes withheld from their paychecks, and of course the revenue stream generated by a loyal fan base at all athletic events. We are talking millions of dollars.
"Give me control of a Nation's money and I care not who makes its laws" is a quote attributed to Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild of the Rothschild banking family. This same concept applies here in Clay County and I believe it is evident who controls the money. How much influence do they have over who makes its laws? We will soon find out.
Trying to catch up on all of the events that have already transpired I have realized that each person who has a loved one at the Hoskins cemetery is being traumatized daily by the actions of the school board. We must continue to object to these actions and let our collective voice be heard. At some point in time we need to approach our legislators and demand that safeguards be put into place in order to prevent anything like this from ever happening again, or even being discussed for that matter.
My wife's family history is my history and Thresa Lynn and I will do everything that we can to preserve it. As a veteran I also have brother's on that knob and I will use my voice to speak out against anyone who would disrespect them and the sacrifices they made for this country. They deserve to rest in peace, they earned it! All deceased persons deserve to rest in peace.
Respectfully and with remorse,
THE FOLLOWING ARE VERY INFORMATIVE LINKS TO ARTICLES WITH VIDEOS RELATED TO THE HOSKINS CEMETERY:
- The Board of Education in Clay County, Kentucky, could learn a lot from These Teenagers
- Fight To Save 125 Year-Old Historic Hoskins Cemetery In Clay County, Kentucky Escalates
- Letter from Whitetop Tribal Council Chairman regarding the 125-year-old historic Hoskins Cemetery in Manchester, Kentucky
- “EDUCATE - DON'T DESECRATE"! The Friends of the Hoskins Cemetery plead with the Members of the Clay County Board of Education
- Memorial Ceremony could be the last Opportunity to Ever Visit the Historic 125 Years-Old Hoskins Cemetery on U.S. 421 in Manchester, Kentucky
- Insulting Request by Board of Education in Clay County, Kentucky after granting Family Members limited Access over Memorial Day weekend to Historic 125 years old Hoskins Cemetery
- OP-ED: THE VETERANS IN THE HOSKINS CEMETERY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO REST IN PEACE
- Op-Ed: Veterans of the Hoskins Cemetery at Island Creek Hill in Clay County, Kentucky
- "David & Goliath" style Dispute between Friends of the Hoskins Cemetery in Manchester, Kentucky and a School Board (CCBOE) that's Attempting to Relocate the Historical Burial Ground has Landed in Federal Court
- Blaine Price Releases Statement Regarding Desecration of the Historical Hoskins Cemetery in Manchester, Kentucky
- David & Goliath Feud Continues in Clay County, Kentucky Between Citizens and School Board with Controversial Presentations to Fiscal Court Regarding the Boards Attempt to Relocate a Historical Cemetery Dating Back to 1893
- Fiscal Court in Clay County, Kentucky Goes Against Citizens and Approves Controversial Petition by Board of Education to Relocate Historical Cemetery