A day to remember all who have served | AspenTimes.com

A day to remember all who have served

Charles Agar

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

During a moving Veterans Day celebration Saturday, organizers of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Aspen announced the site’s possible re-dedication and a name change. “This is a memorial for all veterans,” said Vietnam veteran Dan Glidden. The marble Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial sits on a small plot of land next to the county courthouse. “Our ultimate goal is to make this a community memorial, and we’re real close to that.”Glidden announced a proposal by the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Committee to change one side of the monument and re-dedicate the memorial to veterans of all wars. The group also invited the Elks Club to take over stewardship of the site.The Elks will consider the proposal at their Dec. 6 meeting.”We’re not going to change anything at the site other than adding a plaque. We’re simply renaming it and the [Pitkin County] commissioners have been very supportive,” Glidden said.Glidden called Saturday’s service a celebration of life. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the end of hostilities in World War I in 1918, and veterans gather annually to celebrate their commitment.”It is delightful to see the number of people showing up,” Glidden said, and called the community involvement a dream come true.

Flag bearers marked the beginning of the ceremony, and at exactly 11:11 a.m., veterans at the Smuggler Mine set off a powerful charge that echoed through the hills to honor those who’ve served. After the Pledge of Allegiance and a rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” local veterans took turns sharing their experiences – more remembrances of war and camaraderie than of tragedy – and a group of local fifth-graders sang a song of thanks. “It’s another example of how special this community is,” Pitkin County Commissioner Jack Hatfield said of Saturday’s ceremony.Trumpeter Richard Sundeen closed the ceremony with a sparkling rendition of “Taps,” and flag bearers retired the colors before the group made their way to a luncheon at the Elks Lodge.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is cagar@aspentimes.com