Moffat County veterans emphasize reverence on Memorial Day | CraigDailyPress.com
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Moffat County veterans emphasize reverence on Memorial Day

Patrick Kelly
Craig's veterans prepare to lead the Grand Olde West Days parade on Saturday.
Noelle Leavitt Riley

Craig veterans are out in full force on Memorial Day to honor the memory of fallen soldiers.

The men of Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 4265 will be hosting services at 11 a.m. at Craig Cemetery and 2 p.m. at Maybell Cemetery. Veterans ask all residents of Moffat County to remember the true purpose of Memorial Day.

“For a veteran, it’s a day to reflect and remember,” said veteran Mark Wick.

Wick encouraged civilians to keep in mind the sacrifice of young servicemen and woment and consider Monday as a somber occasion, rather than just a day away from work. Each year, Wick hangs his head low at Craig’s Memorial Day ceremony in remembrance of fellow veterans who didn’t make it home.

Wick said it is more than a day to barbeque and drink beer — it is a day to think of all the souls who sacrificed their lives for the our country.

“It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember,” said former President Ronald Reagan in his 1986 Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery.

Johnny Garcia, commander of the local VFW post, said Monday will be a somber day but veterans know the importance of honoring their fallen comrades.

“Memorial day was born out of necessity out of an attempt to make sense out of the horrendous lose of life suffered during the Civil War, which killed more Americans than any of the nations previous wars or wars since,” he said.

Garcia echoed Wick’s thoughts on the importance of reverence on Memorial Day and emphasized the values for which the nation’s soldiers gave their lives.

“Remember why we have our freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom to go to church, freedom to do what we want,” he said. “Somebody had to give it to us.”

To honor the World War II veterans from Moffat County, a bronze statue of a soldier is being installed in City Park behind the local VFW post sometime this fall.

Museum of Northwest Colorado Director Dan Davidson had a role in bringing the statue to Craig and he said over the years his perspective of Memorial Day has changed.

“It’s about sacrifice to me now,” he said. “Most of us take it for granted. Sacrifice on the part of those guys who served because there were hundreds of them in Moffat County.”


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