RADCLIFF, Ky. — Cathy Plowman cleaned off a slightly raised red brick as she and a family member stood over it.The brick merged with several others that together created a pathway to a large bell tower at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central in Radcliff. The name of Brian Plowman was etched on the surface, representing the 59-year-old patriarch who had died March 15.Cathy joined several other families at the cemetery Nov. 10 to pay their last respects to 65 area veterans who died during the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Because of restrictions and safety concerns, Fort Knox and cemetery officials were unable to provide full honor services until June 1.“I think it’s fantastic what they’re doing for our loved ones,” said Cathy. “This is something that the Soldiers deserve — better late than never.”Fort Knox officials approached cemetery leaders recently to propose multiple ceremonies throughout the day.“We knew because of COVID-19 that there were going to be veterans that didn’t receive honors,” said Dave Marcum, chief of the Fort Knox Casualty Assistance Center. “Once the cemetery was back up and started allowing visitations again, we approached [Cemetery director] Chuck Heater to find out how many there were.”Heater told Fort Knox leaders about the veterans who had died since the start of the lockdowns.Marcum said the 65 represent nearly 1,000 years of combined service from nearly every state in the United States and serving in nearly every corner of the globe. They also represent every military branch of service and every conflict since World War II.“What I thought was really special was that when I approached the Garrison commander [Col. CJ King] and Command Sgt. Maj. [William] Fogle, realizing that because COVID is still ongoing they said they didn’t want to delay this any longer.”They decided rather than providing individual ceremonies, or one large ceremony, which would make social distancing difficult, they would instead provide four with about 16 families attending each one.Families gathered at the backside of the cemetery throughout the day to witness military members from Fort Knox and nearby locations stand in honor of each veteran’s service branch, render a 21-gun salute, play taps and fold the American flag — all which would occur at a veteran’s funeral service.At the first service, Maj. Gen. Joseph Calloway, commanding general of U.S. Army Human Resources Command, spoke of the honor he felt at getting the opportunity to speak to the families.“Today, in four separate ceremonies we honor 65 heroes — 65 heroes who passed away during the height of the COVID pandemic,” said Calloway. “Today is almost a fitting last sacrifice that those 65 heroes made… I’m honored to recognize 17 of these heroes today.”Calloway shared some personal stories he had learned about each veteran.Among those stories was “Army Pvt. 1st Class Brian Edward Plowman, better known as Ed to those who he called his friends, and a veteran of the war in Iraq.”Several family members fought back tears as honors were rendered, including Cathy, who had met Ed in 1978 after she arrived in Fulda, Germany. As a Soldier, she served in the personnel center. He was a tanker guarding the border between East and West Germany. They met in the bowling alley.“It was pretty much love at first sight,” she said. “From the time we went out we were together ever since. It was really hard to lose him.”Cathy said Ed not receiving the honors he deserved at the time of his funeral was particularly difficult.“To send a Soldier off with no praise, no nothing, does a disservice to them and their families,” said Cathy. “I really appreciate all the people who are doing this.”