New flag waves for fight for freedom | VailDaily.com
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New flag waves for fight for freedom

Nicole Frey
NWS Freedom Park SM 7-4-06
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EDWARDS – She’s not proud of it, but Hanna Nelson knows among the branches of her family tree are members of the Ku Klux Klan.She marveled at these Klan members, whose goal was to keep freedoms away from groups of people, noticing the irony that their ancestors had fought to escape similar oppression and went on to found the United States.”They became abusers of the same freedoms we fought for,” Nelson said. Nelson, a recent Eagle Valley High School graduate revealed her secret at a Fourth of July flag raising ceremony at the Freedom Park Memorial in Edwards, not to raise eyebrows, but to make a point – our freedoms are precious, not to be taken for granted and those in power must constantly be questioned to maintain balance.

On the day when Americans celebrate their independence, the teenager offered words wise beyond her years for exercising freedoms. As she delivered her message to the crowd of veterans and laypeople gathered, heads nodded in agreement and even a tear or two was shed considering the price and value of freedom. Installing a flagpole was just the first step in creating the Freedom Park Memorial – a memorial to honor veterans and emergency service workers from Eagle County who died in the line of duty – which will take several years and $1.5 to $2 million to complete. Pat Hammon, chairwoman of the Freedom Park Memorial, said this is the first park to honor both veterans and emergency service personnel.”We wanted to memorialize these fine citizens, lest they never be forgotten,” she said, adding the memorial will also have an educational component.

The memorial includes a rare portion of stone removed from the Pentagon after the Sept. 11 attacks, a bronze timeline of the United State’s wars and other monuments, including memorials for specific conflicts that have drastically affected the country’s history. A group of basalt columns will be engraved with the names of Eagle Country veterans, law enforcement officers and emergency providers who died serving. Another column will bear the names of significant donors to the project. The flags of all military and emergency services will also eventually be displayed. After speeches and songs, the flag was finally raised up the pole. As the breeze picked up, the flag unfurled, waving proudly in the air.”Beautiful,” one man murmured. “It’s just beautiful.”

Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or nfrey@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado


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