10th Mountain to be honored
May 24, 2002
City Memorial Day observations will include a tribute to local as well as national heroes this year.
Aspen’s day of remembrance will begin at 9 a.m. Monday with a special presentation at the Silver Queen Gondola plaza. Memorial Day event organizer Ann Owsley said gatherers will take part in recognizing the men of the 10th Mountain Division who finished their military training and decided to settle in the area.
“So many of the 10th Mountain guys came back and founded modern-day Aspen,” Owsley said.
The presentation will wind up as local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts visit area cemeteries and decorate monuments to war veterans. Wreaths and flowers will be placed at each grave.
Services will continue at 11 a.m., when the Aspen Community Church hosts a nondenominational service led by the Rev. Richard Lyon. After a period of prayer and remembrance, observers will walk to the Vietnam War Veterans’ Memorial at the Pitkin County Courthouse. Members of the public who opt out of the church service can meet at the memorial at noon for an additional ceremony.
A new feature to the noon ceremony will be the Aspen “roll call,” Owsley said.
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“We’ll read the names of all the Aspen men who died in war,” she said. “Afterward, we ask families and friends who have lost someone in a conflict or war to step forward and say the name of the person who is gone.”
Veterans from every American conflict are honored by this ceremony, Owsley said. Organizers are also expected to read proclamations issued by both the city and county in order to recognize the day. Aspen residents Jeannie Walla and Dick Sundeen will provide music – Walla will sing, and Sundeen, a bugler, will play “Taps.”
Memorial Day will have a slightly different tone this year, Owsley said, since it is the first of this type of holiday to occur after Sept. 11.
“We now have combat soldiers abroad again – that’s why this is an important Memorial Day,” she said.
Memorial Day services will wind up at Conner Park near Aspen City Hall at 1 p.m. as the Aspen Elks Club serves lunch to holiday observers. Local musicians Twirp Anderson, John Somers and Tom Paxton will perform.
For additional information, contact Owsley at 923-2864 or fellow organizer Dan Glidden at 927-4183.