Latest News – December 16

Honoring Nicklas J. Palmer

By Kathy Bedell

Residents and visitors will see the flags out on Leadville’s Harrison Avenue today and pause to think why? Why does Leadville post its flags in respect on December 16?

If you’ve lived in Leadville, Lake County for any length of time, the name Nicklas J. Palmer will answer that question.  For it was on this date, in 2006, that 19-year-old Marine Lance Crpl Nick Palmer from Leadville was killed in the line of duty in Fallujah, Iraq.

Since that horrific day when the news of Nick’s death reached home, there have been countless tributes to this young man’s courage and valor. And here is one more.

After hearing the heartbreaking-news seven years ago, I grabbed my skis and headed to the Lake County High School football field, where Nick used to play football. I was going to ski out my message. It was a farewell note of sorts.

Honor N.P. - A ski tribute for Marine Nicklas J. Palmer. Photo: Stephanie Lovern

Honor N.P. – A ski tribute for Marine Nicklas J. Palmer. Photo: Stephanie Lovern

The final message became a lasting tribute that seemed to resonate with many people, particularly other Marines. The photo has been featured in various publications and presentations and also acts as a screen saver photo for some Marines, I have been told by Nick’s Dad Brad Palmer, who many know as Lake County’s Public Works Director.  

However, the photo series of me actually skiing out the message has never been published. Until now. So, this one’s for you, Nick.

Gone, But Never Forgotten.

Nick is the son of Rachel and Brad Palmer of Leadville and brother Dustin with his growing family wife Jesse, daughter Kylie and son and namesake Nicklas J. Palmer.

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