BAYFIELD – In front of the Veterans Memorial at Pine River Cemetery, about 20 U.S. military veterans, their children and grandchildren gathered Thursday to thank those who have served their country’s military.
La Plata County is home to about 3,000 veterans, which is a fairly large percentage of the county’s population of 56,000 people, County Commissioner Matt Salka said.
Salka, the son of a Navy veteran, joked that his father wanted to retire as far away from the ocean as he could, so he came to La Plata County.
The Veterans Memorial lists the names of dozens of veterans from the Pine River Valley, including Gordon Berry, Harold Carmack and Ralph Fife, who died on the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor when it was sunk by Japanese bombers on Dec. 7, 1941.
The Color Guard for American Legion Post 143 in Bayfield raised three flags, one for the United States, one for Colorado and one for Prisoners of War and soldiers missing in action. Color Guard members are Daniel Percell, Michael Mullins, Tony Schrier and Joe Martinez.
The Legion meets at 5:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the Bayfield Lions Hall at 451 Church St. in downtown Bayfield. All U.S. veterans are welcome to attend.