Vail honors 10th Mountain Division during parade
96-year-old 10th Mountain Division vet named parade marshal
Patriotism was running high at this year’s Vail America Days Parade with thousands of attendees wearing plenty of red white and blue while celebrating America’s birthday in Vail on July 4th.
This year’s theme honored the 10th Mountain Division, the winter warfare unit that was created by the United States Army during World War II and trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale.
“We used to invite the 10th Mountain Division out to ski each winter, but many of them don’t ski anymore, so last winter we started doing the 10th Mountain Legacy Parades with a torchlight ski-down with skiers dressed in traditional 10th Mountain Division ski trooper uniforms,” said Jeff Wiles, guest services manager at Vail Mountain and a judge at this year’s parade. “It seemed natural to have that theme carry into this year’s parade, especially since it is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge,” Wiles said.
Honorary parade marshal for this year’s event was 10th Mountain Division veteran, Dick Over, who, at 96 years old, came out and waved at the crowd and tossed out candy to the kids.
“When they picked me to be the parade marshal, I was so amazed. I am not sure who put someone up to ask me, but I am so honored to do this, and I am honored to have served my country so many years ago,” said Over.
Chris Anthony, who was also a judge at this year’s parade, has been able to get to know Over and other 10th Mountain Division veterans well while making the “Climb to Glory” documentary and his new film, “Mission Mt. Mangart”, which chronicles the activities of the 10th Mountain Division.
“It’s so great to get to hear these stories of the 10th, these vets are such amazing people and this is the perfect theme for this year’s parade,” Anthony said.
After the parade, the Colorado Snowsports Museum hosted a meet and greet with Over, who has spoken at the museum several times in the past about what it was like to be a part of the 10th Mountain Division. The Vail America Days parade was presented by the town of Vail, GMC, Alpine Bank and The Gallegos Corporation and was sponsored in part by LIV Sotheby’s International Realty.