A day of remembrance: Memorial service recognizing 20th anniversary of 9/11 set for Saturday
Convoy of first responders and vehicles will meet at Ford Park in Vail at 12:30 p.m. and will depart for Edwards Freedom Park
A memorial service recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks will take place in Eagle County on Saturday.
A convoy of first responders and vehicles will meet at Ford Park in Vail at 12:30 p.m. and will depart for Edwards Freedom Park at 1 p.m. The community is welcome to line up along the route or join in at Freedom Park for the memorial service beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Since the start of the war on terror in 2001, Eagle County has lost three local servicemen.
Eagle County residents Derek Dennison and John Shaw Vaughan both died at age 23 while serving in the U.S. military and Lance Cpl. Evenor Herrera, of Gypsum, died at age 22. Herrera and Dennison both died in August of 2005, Vaughan died in June of 2006.
All three men graduated high school in Eagle County in 2001, a few months before the attacks.
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Vaughan and Dennison were Cub Scouts together in Eagle County as children and both graduated from Battle Mountain High School in 2001. Herrera graduated Eagle Valley High School in 2001 and worked at the Vail Valley Jet Center for a year before becoming a U.S. Marine in November of 2002.
Dennison died in San Diego when he was serving in the U.S. Navy. Vaughan was killed in Mosul, Iraq, after being shot by a sniper. Herrera died from an improvised explosive device in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, about 35 miles west of Fallujah.
Herrera’s brother, Balmore Herrera, said the military helped his brother find direction after high school. Evenor Herrera decided to join the Marines after learning that Balmore was also going to be a Marine.
“He wanted to serve a bigger purpose,” Balmore said.
Evenor Herrera’s first term in Iraq began in January of 2004. He fought in the first battle of Fallujah in April of 2004 before starting a second tour in March of 2005. He was five months into his second tour when he was killed.
After learning of his brother’s death, Balmore decided not to reenlist.
“One son was enough for my mom to lose,” Balmore said.
Balmore is now a police officer for the town of Avon. He said he enjoys talking about his brother in an effort to keep his memory alive.
A classic air medical helicopter landing is scheduled for 1:50 p.m. at Edwards Freedom Park with a memorial service beginning at 2 p.m. All are welcome to join.
“A person never really dies until they’re forgotten,” Balmore said.