CREEDE— Clouds gathered along the San Juan Mountain Range behind Creede as small flakes of snow began to fall through beams of sunlight while guests and residents gathered to honor the fallen soldiers from around the country.
The annual Memorial Day event began with a speech from keynote speaker Scott Lamb. “Words are feeble on such occasions, fortunately words are not all we have in our toolbox to honor our fallen heroes. Truly, our first obligation to them and to ourselves, is in doing what each of us can to ensure that the United States and freedom for which it stands— the freedom for which they gave their lives— endures and prospers. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It does have a cost; it imposes a burden.”
“Just as they whom we commemorate today were willing to sacrifice, so too must we. In a less final, less heroic way, we must be willing to give of ourselves. Today, patriots across this great nation will gather together in ceremonies such as this to remember, to honor and to pay homage to those who have given their lives for their country. Our gathering here is just one spark in the flame of pride that burns across our nation today and every day. It may not be a lot, but it is one small way we can honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live free.”
The ceremony was hosted by the Creede Elks Lodge and featured songs performed by the Creede Choir. Local resident and former US Army Officer Bob Holt also spoke during the ceremony recognizing a decorated veteran from the Vietnam War, Larry Harper.
“I would like to take a minute and introduce a special guest we have here with us today. Larry Harper is a great friend to many of us here in Creede and was one of the most decorated veterans from his infantry in Vietnam. Larry was awarded four, that’s four, bronze stars. Those of us that know Larry, know that he is a quiet and humble man and this recognition makes him very uncomfortable so thank you Larry. Thank you for your service and your courage.”
Holt continued his speech by giving insight into what it was like to serve in the 1960s and 70s and how serving their country was a privilege and was earned through bravery and dedication. “It was something we talked about every evening at the dinner table. Our fathers and uncles fought in World War II and Korea. On the silver screen James Bond was defeating enemies of democracy around the world. During that time, two and one-half million men and women answered the call and recognized it was now our turn to serve.”
Lamb closed the ceremony by thanking those that were in attendance and encouraged everyone there to continue to do what they can to make the United States a place worth dying for. The ceremony ended with Taps played by DeAunn Dodson.