Fallen heroes remembered at Fort Logan

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The Memorial Day event at Fort Logan National Cemetery followed a traditional agenda, but many at the cemetery that day observed their private ceremony honoring those military members who gave their lives in service to our country.

“The speeches and things are fine, but I usually do get over by there for the 21-gun salute and playing of ‘Taps’ because they have meaning for me,” Sean Savage said on May 27. “I rode my motorcycle up from Raton, N.M., to pay tribute to two guys from my unit in Desert Storm. That is important, so I don’t care about the speeches and ceremonies, but I feel they are firing the salute and playing ‘Taps’ again for my friends.”

Not far away, Sharon Mecham and her son Adam Chartier placed flowers near a headstone.

“This is the grave of Adam’s grandfather who is a World War II veteran,” Sharon said. “We come out to Fort Logan when we can but we always come on Memorial Day because we want to remember all those people who fought and died for our country.”

Adam agreed.

“This is a very special day for us,” he said. “We want to pay tribute to my grandfather and, at the same time, pay tribute to all those people who lost their lives fighting for our country.”

The traditional Memorial Day ceremonies drew a crowd of about 2,500 that included retired Air Force Master Sgt. Christian Poeppel and his dad Al, a Korean War veteran.

“I think each of us has attended a Memorial Day ceremony but this is the first time we have come together,” Christian said. “We came to honor those who sacrificed their lives in service of our country and being here together makes a special day even more special for us.”

Mother Nature provided a very warm, almost cloudless day for the ceremonies. There were the speeches, members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars auxiliaries placed flowers at the symbolic headstone, and a group of dignitaries and a group of Gold Star Wives each placed a wreath there.

There was the firing of the 21-gun salute by an All Veterans Honor Guard, made up of members of Verle Huffman VFW Post 9644 in Sheridan, and the playing of “Taps.”

There were quite a few families with their children at the ceremonies. Also, there was a group of about 20 boys and girls in the uniform of the Mountain View Young Marines who volunteered to hand out programs.

Young Marine Lance Cpl. Xander Tamblyn, 9, said he liked being part of the organization.

“We are like a family and I like to take part in team activities to help people because I go home with the feeling I have done something good to help others,” the boy said. “We are here today to help and also to honor those who died for our country. That makes it a special day for everyone and a special day for me.”

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