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Gold Star families honored at 10th Survivors Day at the Races

Gold Star family members are joined by Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, in the winner's circle to present the trophy for a race named in honor of Gold Star Families at the tenth annual Survivors Day at the Races at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 3, 2019. The event welcomed nearly 1,000 family members of fallen service members for a day of fellowship and healing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

Gold Star family members are joined by Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, in the winner's circle to present the trophy for a race named in honor of Gold Star Families at the tenth annual Survivors Day at the Races at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 3, 2019. The event welcomed nearly 1,000 family members of fallen service members for a day of fellowship and healing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaks with Gold Star family members at the 10th annual Survivors Day at the Races at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 3, 2019. The event welcomed nearly 1,000 family members of fallen service members for a day of fellowship and healing. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaks with Gold Star family members at the 10th annual Survivors Day at the Races at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 3, 2019. The event welcomed nearly 1,000 family members of fallen service members for a day of fellowship and healing. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

LOUISVILLE, Ky -- Hundreds of Gold Star family members were honored at the 10th annual Survivors Day at the Races at Churchill Downs Nov. 3, 2019.

Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan, Kentucky’s adjutant general, and other military leaders joined the event to pay their respects to the nearly 1,000 family members of fallen service members in attendance.

Activities throughout the day kept attendees entertained, but according to Amy Quimby, the Airman and Family Readiness Program manager for the 123rd Airlift Wing, the opportunities to connect with survivors is what made the event a success.

“It provides support, it connects people who know and understand each other’s loss, and lifelong friendships have been created,” Quimby said. “There are people here who travel from 19 different states. You just see their smiles as they see each other again.

“I had an opportunity to talk to the mother of a service member who was killed,” Quimby said. “This was the first event she attended. Being there has brought some peace to her, knowing that there are other people going through the same thing she is and that they understand.”

The highlight of the program was a race named in honor of the Survivors of Fallen Military Heroes. Family members were randomly selected to present the trophy to the winning jockey and owners in the winner’s circle.

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