Veterans honored at Freedom Park in Edwards | VailDaily.com

Veterans honored at Freedom Park in Edwards

Cub Scout Pack 231 thanks the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10721 for their support. Members of the Cub Scouts, as well as the VFW, joined hundreds in honoring veterans from Freedom Park in Edwards on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

observed on Monday, Nov. 12

Veterans Day fell on a Sunday this year, so all Eagle County Government offices, including the Avon and El Jebel satellite offices and landfill and related facilities, will be closed on Monday, Nov. 12, in observation of the holiday.

Emergency services are always available by calling 911. The Sheriff’s Office telephone number is 970-328-8500 for non-emergencies and the Road & Bridge Department will be on call at 970-479-2200 in cases of emergency.

The Eagle County landfill will open at 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 13. All other county offices and facilities will resume regular hours on Tuesday.

EDWARDS — Hundreds gathered at Freedom Park on Sunday, Nov. 11, to honor U.S. military veterans and their families.

The Veterans Day event also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the 243rd birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps, which was Saturday, and the anniversary of the formation of the memorial park in Edwards.

“I can’t believe it’s been 14 years since we built this,” speaker Pat Hammon said from Freedom Park on Sunday.

Hammon, who sits on the board of the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, shared with the crowd some facts about veterans, including the fact that veterans are more likely to donate more to nonprofits than the civilian population.

That fact was exemplified by the presence of local VFW post 10721, which has been supporting the local Cub Scouts for the past three years.

Cub Scout Pack 231 presented VFW post 10721 with a large thank you card on Sunday.

“We would have ceased to exist two years ago without the support of the VFW,” said Cubmaster Harve Latson. “We owe you thanks for far more than your kind and generous donation, you are truly our heroes.”

‘TREATED AND APPRECIATED’

Hammon said part of her outreach with the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is to “share with our communities that all veterans aren’t the ones you hear about on TV with severe problems and causing problems.”

The guest speaker of the day was Doyle Cooper, who has also been spreading a message of the need for civilians to respect veterans.

Cooper has been traveling around the state in recent days from Pueblo, where he volunteers with the Center for American Values, a museum dedicated to Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.

Cooper started his speech with a quote from the United States’ first commander in chief, George Washington: “The willingness in which our young people are likely to serve in any war, justified or not, is directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars are treated and appreciated.”

Pueblo is the hometown of four Medal of Honor recipients — William J. Crawford, Carl L. Sitter, Raymond G. “Jerry” Murphy and Drew D. Dix — but it was another Medal of Honor recipient, WWII veteran Richard Sorenson, who Cooper focused his speech upon.

“As he was going up the beach a Japanese soldier throws a hand grenade,” Cooper said of Sorenson. “Without hesitation, he jumps on the hand grenade to save his comrades, and survives. He will receive the Medal of Honor, recover, the war will end, he goes home and becomes a successful businessman. Years will go by, and he receives a letter in the mail from a girl he does not know. Inside the letter is an essay that she wrote for a college class, titled ‘The most important thing in my life.’ The last line of the essay: I held Richard Sorenson in awe even before I knew his name, because one of the men he saved was my dad.”