Air Force museum honors Gold Star families with memorial service

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Gold Star families got to hear the names of their loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.

A memorial service was held Saturday afternoon on the grounds of the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

One of the names called was Paul Zanowick II, but his family and friends knew him as Rocky.

Zanowick was killed in combat operations in Afghanistan in June 2011.

The 23-year-old Miamisburg native wanted to serve after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

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His parents say it’s important to keep saying his name to keep his memory alive.

“I don’t want others to know how bad this feels, but I also don’t want them to take the freedom they have for granted,” Rocky’s mother Nanette Zanowick said.

The president and treasurer of the Miami Valley Chapter of the Gold Star Wives of America shared their husbands’ stories.

Their husbands George King and Arthur Tillman both served in the Air Force and died of service-related illnesses and disabilities.

Their wives described Saturday’s ceremony as a commemoration of those who have fallen.

“We keep them in our memory so we appreciate what they did so we don’t forget,” Miami Valley Chapter of the Gold Star Wives of America President Barbara King said.

Organizers told News Center 7 that this is the first time the event has happened since the pandemic.