Gypsum exhibit honors fallen soldiers
GYPSUM, Colorado – Shoppers stop their rush out of a local big box store as they pass the emotional exhibit “Remembering Our Fallen.”
Most scan the faces of 87 Coloradans killed in The War on Terror while wearing our country’s uniform in a war zone. Do they know any of them?
They do. Gypsum native Marine Lance Cpl. Evenor C. Herrera’s brave young face is among them.
The traveling exhibit is in Gypsum through Friday, on display near the exit of the Costco Warehouse. It includes photos of each of Colorado’s Fallen, and will travel throughout Colorado.
On Aug. 10, 2005, Herrera died from wounds received when a roadside bomb exploded during a battle near Ar Ramadi, Iraq.
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He was 22 years old.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
Herrera was 9 years old when his family immigrated from Honduras.
He joined U.S. Marine Corps a year after graduating from Gypsum’s Eagle Valley High School.
He had been in Iraq six months and was a month and a half from coming home.
“He said he would rather die over there as a hero and be remembered as doing something good as opposed to being here and being remembered as a nobody,” Balmore Herrera, Evenor’s brother said when his brother died. “He was happy to be fighting for this country he loved.
“He was there for a reason, to keep everyone else here from fearing anything,” Herrera said.
The photo exhibit at Costco this week was unveiled Oct. 22 at the Aurora Municipal Center in Aurora. The families of Colorado’s Fallen were among the first to see it.
“We can never forget those who sacrificed everything for our freedom. We must remember these American Heroes and speak their names when we see their family members,” said retired Col. James Biernesser, director of Military Programs for Bellevue University. “This exhibit is created in such a way so it can travel easily throughout Colorado, so that more people will have the opportunity to honor and remember Colorado’s fallen.”
The exhibit was created by Bill and Evonne Williams of Patriotic Productions, Omaha, and is sponsored by Bellevue University. The American Legion of Colorado and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Colorado chapter have both endorsed the project.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.