10th Mountain Ceremony on Memorial Day Monday
Just half a mile from Ski Cooper, surviving veterans and local Coloradans will gather together this Memorial Day, May 30, to honor their fallen comrades of the WWII and current 10th Mountain Division and the 99th Battalion who lost their lives in combat. The WWII ‘men of the mountain’ did their advanced ski training in 1940s at Ski Cooper, when it was known as Cooper Hill.
“This is the 57th annual Memorial Day Ceremony honoring those who served in the 10th Mountain Division of World War II, and all other veterans of America’s wars,” said Tommy Thompson, Tenth Mountain Division Foundation President. “We will gather in Tennessee Pass to especially remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service, those one thousand men who were killed in combat while serving in Italy with the 10th during World War II.”
Open to the public, this Colorado Memorial Day tradition is a meaningful and touching event that will remind participants of the sacrifice of our great heroes, and give them the opportunity to see and touch WWII artifacts and equipment. Because of limited seating, attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. The Lake County High School Band will provide music and the Canyon City Junior ROTC Color Guard will post colors in honor of those that gave so much for the freedoms we enjoy today.
In recent years, the 10th Mountain Division has proudly carried the moniker of “the most deployed division in our Army,” and is furthering the division’s legacy.
“Since 9-11, the Division Headquarters has deployed ten times equaling almost ten years over the past 15 years and over 40 brigade size deployments have occurred,” remarked Retired Lieutenant General Lawson W. Magruder, who is a past commander of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and Fort Drum, New York.
“Time and again, our beloved 10th Mountain has deployed always bringing great honor to our colors and building upon our proud legacy.” Hear more about the Division’s willingness to sacrifice during the ceremony.
Tenth Mtn Division Memorial Day Event:
- Location: At the summit of Tennessee Pass on US Highway 24, between Leadville and Minturn, Colorado (at the Monument)
- Gathering and coffee: 9:30 a.m.
- Ceremony start time: 11 .a.m.
- Profiles of the Fallen: Tom Hames, Chairman of the Board of the Tenth Mountain Division Foundation
- Remarks: U.S. Senator Michael Bennett, D-CO
- Keynote, “A willingness to sacrifice”: Retired Lieutenant General Lawson W. Magruder
Tenth Mountain Division Background
The WWII 10th Mountain Division was created in Colorado in 1943 and trained at Camp Hale, high in the Rockies, near Leadville. It was the only unit in the history of the United States Army to be organized specifically for mountain and winter warfare. The highly regarded 10th played a major role in the battles that brought about the surrender of the German Army in Italy in 1945. After the war, many of the Division’s veterans went on to create ski resorts across America, including, among others, Vail, Aspen, and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, Whiteface Mountain in New York State, Ski Santa Fe and Sandia Peak Ski areas in New Mexico, and numerous others. Veterans of the 10th were instrumental in making skiing a major American winter sport.
The Tenth Mountain Division Foundation was established in 1958 by WWII veterans of the 10th Mountain Division to memorialize the history and exceptional achievements of the 10th Mountain Division; and to perpetuate its legacy for future generations. The Foundation administers several programs to help wounded warriors and to support higher education. Learn more about the Foundation on its website: www.tenthmountainfoundation.org