Letter: A special ceremony
November 19, 2015
A special ceremony
What a great ceremony! Just when you think things couldn't get any better, we have a ceremony like this one. A huge shout-out to the Aspen Fire Department for the use of its warm and dry fire barn and the participation of its honor guard; it was absolutely first-rate. Our intention was to honor and remember our veterans and then to recognize Aspen's first responders, the Aspen Fire Department, the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office and the Aspen Police Department. Many of our veterans now proudly serve our community in these public-safety organizations.
Thanks to Matt Forster of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, who presented the memorial wreath; retired Marine Lt. Col. Dick Merritt, who led the Pledge of Allegiance and was our master of ceremonies; chaplain Roy Holloway of the Aspen Fire Department, who gave words of encouragement and thanks; Brian Porter of the Marine Corps, who read the World War I poem "In Flanders Field" with dignity; and Richard Sundeen, who played a beautiful trumpet interlude and touching taps.
Thanks to Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo for his department's community service and for his continued support of our veterans. Pitkin County donated a used four-wheel-drive Tahoe to the Huts for Vets program — many thanks.
Thanks to Aspen Fire Chief Rick Ballentine and Aspen Volunteer Fire Department volunteers for your efforts 24/7/365. They are our unsung heroes!
Dan Davis of the U.S. Navy and Aspen Police Department: Your comments about community were on the money. Thank you for both services.
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Paul Andersen, honorary U.S. Marine and founder of Huts for Vets: What a terrific project!
Jeannie Walla, our Norwegian nightingale, just sings better and better as the years roll by.
Darryl Grob of the U.S. Army: Thank you for the heartfelt reading of the roll call of our fallen warriors.
Thank you to those guests who came forward and remembered the falllen — very special.
What a treat to have the Aspen Middle School Chorus sing patriotic songs. Well done!
Aspen Elks Lodge No. 224: Thank you for the Missing Man Ceremony and for the wonderful lunch. Your commitment to our veterans is remarkable. Thank you.
Some guests from out of town came up to me after the Veterans Day ceremony and Elks lunch and made several comments about the amazing and special feeling of community we have in Aspen. My answer was, "Yup."
I will say again that this was a very special Veterans Day ceremony. Thank you, Aspen!
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