Veterans Day Ceremony Tuesday, November 11th
The annual Veterans Day Service will be held next Tuesday, November 11 at 11:00 a.m. at the Estes Valley Memorial Gardens, 1672 Fish Hatchery Road in Estes Park.
The ceremony will begin with a prelude on the bagpipes and drum by Skylar Johnson, Piper, Jim Thompson, Piper and Jack Barber, Drummer.
The Presentation of Colors will follow with the Color Guard from Joseph J. Duncan, Jr. Post 119 of the American Legion commanded by Richard Oversteg and an Honor Guard from Troop 8 of Estes Park.
The Star Spangled Banner will then be played by Lt. Col. Loren Johnson, USAF Ret. on trumpet. A Welcome and Pledge of Allegiance will be given by Francis C. Costello, Board Member of the Estes Valley Memorial Gardens with Invocation by Rev. Donna Patterson, Minister of the United Methodist Church.
America the Beautiful will then be sung by Larry Pierce with Remarks and Reflections given by Lt. Cmdr. Robert B. Brunson, U.S. Navy WWII fighter pilot.
Lt. Cmdr. Brunson is a veteran of WWII, who earned his wings as a Naval aviator and officer’s commission at Corpus Christi, Texas in December of 1942. He was a pilot in the first carrier borne night-fighter squadron in the South Pacific area in 1944. He participated in strikes from the carrier the U.S.S. Enterprise, on Kwajalein, the Marshall Islands, the Japanese stronghold on Truk, the Marianas Islands and the carrier battle in the Philippine Sea. Upon his return stateside, he was a night-fighter instructor and later, an engineering test pilot at the Naval Air Station in Vero Beach.
He returned to Kansas State University as an engineering student after the war and graduated as a Mechanical Engineer. He moved to Denver to work for Stearns Roger, Inc. from 1970-1983. Bob has been a property owner in the Estes area since 1973 and a full time resident since 1998. He is a volunteer for RMNP, a member of the noon Rotary and the Aviation Club. He ski races in the winter, and canoes the fast rivers in the summer.
After Brunson’s talk, the Salute to Veterans will then take place by James L. O’Dell, Commander of Post 119 of the American Legion along with some members of The Freedom Riders who will make a special appearance at this service. Sponsored by the American Legion Post 119, The Freedom Riders are a patriotic mounted riding horse group that presents the American flag from horseback. In larger events, they perform intricate drills, weaving amongst each other in choreographed patterns set to our nation’s most patriotic music, including the National Anthem and God Bless America. Dazzling in red, white and blue outfits and proudly carrying Old Glory, the group encompasses a deeply instilled spirit of patriotism and that spirit is conveyed in every Freedom rider’s appearance.
In 2005, this team of talented women performed in the Presidential Inauguration Parade in Washington D.C. and are honored to have been asked to return to the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Parade.
Their goal is to honor all men and women of our military, past and present and to acknowledge the sacrifice of these men and women, as well as their cause which allows us to live in this great nation with freedom of choice.
After The Freedom Riders, God Bless America will be sung by Larry Pierce. Benediction will be given by Rev. Donna Patterson, with a Rifle Salute by the American Legion Color Guard, Commander Richard Oversteg, Sharyn Gartner, Jeff Van Bogaert and Donna Weber. Taps will end the ceremony by Lt. Col. Loren Johnson and Finale on the bagpipes and drum.
Participants are encouraged to wear their uniforms to this service.