Aspen’s Memorial Day ceremony is quick, quiet, necessary
remembering the fallen
The following Roaring Fork Valley residents were killed in action, and the list is read each year as part of the Memorial Day ceremony:
World War I: Peter F. Galligan (Aspen)
World War II: Julio L. Caparella (Aspen), Thomas R. McNeil (Aspen), Joseph W. Morgan (Aspen)
Korea: James Bionaz (Aspen)
Vietnam: Edward Kettering Marsh (Aspen), William Leonard Sanderson (Aspen), Danny Gilbert Schwartz (Aspen), Billy Floyd Clark (Basalt), Charles Leland Adkins (Glenwood Springs), Michael Filbert Gonzales (Glenwood Springs), Larry Russell Kennann (Glenwood Springs), James Richard Smith (Rifle), Thomas Lynn Griffee (Rifle)
Middle East: William H. Dubois (New Castle)*
*NOTE: Dubois was a U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot who was killed in action in December 2014 in support of Operation Inherent Rescue. For security reasons the Air Force has not released the country where he was deployed but it was not Iraq or Syria.
COVID-19 or not, some things simply must happen.
And one of those is remembering on Memorial Day those who gave their lives for their country.
“We would be remiss if we didn’t remember the fallen,” Lt. Col. Dick Merritt, a U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam veteran, said Monday.
Fifteen people attended the abbreviated and far smaller Memorial Day remembrance ceremony Monday morning led by Merritt at Veterans Memorial Park, which is between the Pitkin County Courthouse and the Pitkin County Building.
An honor guard of Palmer Hood and Bob “Gunny” Perigo, both Vietnam veterans, laid a wreath at the base of the memorial, while fellow veteran Dan Glidden read a roll call of Roaring Fork Valley residents who died from World War I to the Middle East.
Merritt noted the odd circumstances — nearly everyone wore masks and many wore gloves — thanked people for coming and that was it.
“This is an obligation,” Glidden said afterward. “It’s my duty.”
The group of veterans then headed off to salute their fellow soldiers at Aspen Grove Cemetery.
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