Celebrating & Honoring: Memorial Day in Leadville
If you’re like most folks, especially those who’ve been held hostage by winter for way too long, you’re already making plans for next weekend, the big kick-off to summer: Memorial Day Weekend.
If you’re a local and staying close to home, or maybe a guest visiting over the long holiday weekend in Leadville, please mark off some time next Monday, May 26 at 1 p.m.
That’s when the Memorial Day Services will be held at the Lake County Veterans Memorial at Evergreen Cemetery in Leadville. It’s a moving – and brief – service, and certainly a good reminder of what the day is all about. The public is welcome and of course, so are the kids. There’s a lunch following the service at the Elk Lodge at 123 W. 5th Street.
A full program is planned including speakers USMC Staff Sergeant Joshua M. Buck, City of Leadville Municipal Judge the Honorable Nail Reynolds, and Justin Van Natta. Other local dignitaries, as well as the Leadville Elks Lodge #236 and the Veterans of Foreign War Two Mile High Post #859 will be there for the commemoration.
Memorial Day will start with 3rd Annual Killed In Action Recognition Ride along Fallen Heroes Memorial Highway (between Leadville and Copper Mountain). Motorcyclists will ride from Silverthorne to Leadville, ending at the Lake County Veterans Memorial at Leadville’s Evergreen Cemetery. The entry fee is $10 a bike with proceeds benefiting the Memorial. Contact Brad Palmer 719-207-1380.
Killed in Action Recognition Ride 2013
Lake County Veterans Memorial Background
In 2007, Leadvillite Doug Cecil in cooperation with other local Veterans had organized incredible efforts to upgrade the Lake County Veterans Memorial at the Evergreen Cemetery. Then Brad and Rachele Palmer joined forces with their efforts, in memory of their son Nick, who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq in 2006.
Up to that time, the granite carved tributes focused on Edgar McWethy, a Leadville solider who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service during the Vietnam War and a memorial created by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, listing all previous Lake County Veterans who had died in the line of duty.
Since then, the local memorial has undergone a complete facelift. Today’s displays includes a stone wall the insignias from all branches of the armed forces as well as the POW and MIA factions. At the center of this tribute stands the traditional field cross: a statue comprised of a rifle, combat boots and helmet, symbolizing his sacrifice.
On Memorial Day 2012, the latest addition to the memorial was revealed. The Killed in Action granite plaques were added to the tribute. These new additions contain the etchings of the more than 70 names of Lake County Veterans who have died in action since World War II. At this stage, the two double-sided panels finally brought the memorial up-to-date and now also honors the most recent heroes who gave their lives in the line of duty.
And now, families from Leadville, Lake County and across the United States can add the name of any veteran deceased or living to the south plaque. In fact next Monday, the new names engraved on the plaque be revealed.
Deals for Those Serving in the Military:
Mt. Massive Golf Course is open for the season and honoring those who serve with a military special from May 19 through May 26. Active US Military will receive a FREE green fee. Non-military, wear red, white, or blue and play for twilight rates anytime.
Did you know that the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is a Blue Star Museum? This means They offer FREE entrance for all active duty, National Guard and Reserve military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Blue Star Museums is a partnership among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, Joining Forces, MetLife Foundation and museums across the country.