Memorial Day Celebration was held at the Las Animas/Bent County Cemetery at 9 a.m and 11 a.m. at Fort Lyon National Cemetery.

Memorial Day Celebration was held at the Las Animas/Bent County Cemetery at 9 a.m and 11 a.m. at Fort Lyon National Cemetery.

Pam Valdez, President of the VFW Auxiliary Post #2411 welcomed the crowd to the 148th Memorial Day celebration, since the first proclamation. She pointed out that the ceremony was on the day it was intended to be celebrated on, May 30. She encouraged the audience to remember those buried on this hallowed ground. One way to remember is by “doing."

She thanked the VFW Auxiliary and friends for putting the 600 flags on the graves at the LA/BC Cemetery and the Fort Lyon staff for placing the 3,000 flags at FLNC. “This is a form of 'doing,' she said.

The colors were posted by the VFW Post #2411 Color Guard, and they led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Diane Hutson, pastor from the Friends Church of Las Animas provided the invocation. Pam Valdez then introduced the guest speaker, Las Animas Mayor Jim Collins. He wanted to give a veteran’s perspective of Memorial Day. He said, “Each Veteran signs a check to his country when entering military service and some have cashed those checks. Memorial Day is for the families of these soldiers that have paid the ultimate service and sacrifice.”

Pam then shared the story about the Wreaths Across America program, when Morril Worchester sent 500 surplus wreaths to Arlington Cemetery. Pam emphasized that he was a “doer." The program has grown to 700,000 wreaths placed in cemeteries across the Nation.

“We can honor our dead, by helping the living,” she said.

She explained that several nonprofit organizations are selling wreaths in our community for $15 per wreath and $5 is returned to the selling organization.

“Our goal is to place a wreath on every veteran gravestone in LA/BC and Fort Lyon to honor our dead veterans," she said.

The next WAA will be held Dec 17, 2016 at Fort Lyon National Cemetery. "The VFW Auxiliary returned funds are used to help the living veterans in our community,” she said.

At the Fort Lyon service, Fernando Vasquez, Fort Logan and Fort Lyon Cemetery Technician spoke about how the freedoms we enjoy are a direct result of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. He reminded the audience about the moment of remembrance (silence) observed at 3 p.m. that day. Pam reminded the audience that Memorial Day is every day for those who lost family members while serving and another way of “doing” is to keep them in your prayers and thoughts.

The wreath was laid at the center flag pole at each cemetery by the VFW Auxiliary members while "The Memorial Song," by Tony Mullins was played by Mardona Moreland. The American Legion Post’s Honor Guard gun volley salute and taps concluded the ceremony. The Avenue of Flags were put up by the Tomlin family and volunteers early in the morning and with the gentle breeze made a beautiful scene at Fort Lyon National Cemetery.