Local service planned for Veterans Day | AspenTimes.com

Local service planned for Veterans Day

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

A ceremony to honor living veterans will be held in Aspen Monday as part of the nationally observed Veterans Day holiday.

Monday at 11 a.m., the public is invited to gather at the Aspen War Memorial between the county courthouse and the county annex building on Main Street.

Ann Owsley, an organizer of the event, said residents gather at the memorial twice a year for services: on Memorial Day and on Veterans Day.

“Veterans Day differs from Memorial Day because on Memorial Day we honor those who died in service with the U.S. Armed Services,” she said. “On Veterans Day we honor the living veterans. There’s a different tone to it.”

The Rev. Richard Lyon from the Aspen Community Church and veteran and Aspen Police Officer Dan Glidden will lead the observance, and Debbie Harder-Kreutzer’s fifth-grade class will sing patriotic songs.

Cookies and coffee will be served afterward for those who want to stay for fellowship.

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“The community will be united ? we do remember the fallen. We’ve lost some Aspen residents in wars,” Owsley said. “I hope that people turn out to honor our vets, because we have quite a few in town.”

She said Aspen has veterans ranging from World War II to those who served in the Gulf War.

The day is celebrated on Nov. 11, the day the armistice was reached to end World War I in 1918. Although there has been talk of holding a Veterans Day ceremony in the newly refurbished section of the Ute Cemetery, which contains two rows of Civil War graves, Owsley said because of the tone of Veterans Day, she and other organizers opted for the town’s war memorial.

“We thought it was more fitting to celebrate next year’s Memorial Day there, since Memorial Day was founded in honor of Civil War vets,” she said. “Plus, it’ll be much nicer in the spring when the flowers are blooming, and the weather is more predictable.”

Owsley also noted that as many in this country protest prospects of war, it’s important to remember that “vets are not warmongers just because they have served.”

“When the guys here came back from Vietnam, they were really harassed by people who knew that the war in Vietnam was bad, but it’s not the vets’ fault,” she said. “The suicide rate became three times that of the casualties of the Vietnam War, because their lives were hard to come back to. War really takes its toll, and we really owe these guys some gratitude.”

Carbondale Elementary School will also present its annual Tribute to Veterans Day program on Monday at the school’s gym from 1:20 to 2:20 p.m. All veterans, parents and community members are welcome to attend the performance by Carbondale children, featuring patriotic music.

Call Bonnie Fischer at the school at 384-5688 or music teacher Kristin Johns at 384-5689 with any questions.

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