Grand Lake honors veterans on Memorial Day

Grand Lake's Memorial Day Parade on May 29 celebrated Grand County patriotism.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News

The Grand Lake Memorial Day Parade and memorial service honored the men and women who have served, blessed by sunny skies. The day was filled with gratitude as community members remembered veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their family and country.

The parade included veterans of conflicts dating back to the Korean War, current service members, first responders, Middle Park 4-H, nonprofits such as the Girl Scouts, Taking Steps For Cancer and more.

The parade began in Veteran’s Park, with participants making their way down to the town park, to honks and cheers from the crowd. During the memorial service and flag ceremony, Grand County veterans were recognized with a standing ovation – and a four jet military flyby.

“I can tell you, from speaking at events in the nation and around the world, I don’t know that there’s any place as a veteran, that’s there’s a greater sense of appreciation and gratitude than right here in our very own Grand County,” U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. James Reeman told the crowd.

Lt. Col. Reeman explained that since World War II, the number of Americans who serve in the military has been decreasing.

“Now, less than one percent of our nation answers that call to serve, but Grand County’s a little bit unique,” he said. “Nearly 10% of the residents here have made that choice and answered the call to serve.”

The event recognized local service members, both past and present, including those in World War II. During the flag ceremony, community members and veterans hoisted “Nursie’s flag” to half mast. Dorothy Young, known as “Nursie,” was a school nurse in Grand County. She also served as an army nurse in Pearl Harbor, when it was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, spurring America’s entry into World War II.

Grand Lake musician Peggy Mann then regaled the crowd with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and her original composition, “Stand On Your Own.” The song celebrates a young man’s bravery and patriotism as he fights for his country, told from his mother’s eyes.

“Now she sends him off to war, she knows he knows what he’s fighting for. Trust in everything you’ve learned and she’ll be here when you return,” Mann’s voice rang through the crowd of listeners with their hats over their hearts. “… Please be safe and free from harm, and when you come home, she’ll rock you in her grateful arms.”

Many local veterans participated in the parade.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News
The riderless horse represents a fallen veteran.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News
A mini donkey was a popular addition to the parade.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News
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