All military branches to be recognized; U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter to join in Veterans Day event
The seed of the idea for the Wall came about in April thanks to CCA staff members Diana Counterman and Traci Fielden, both of whom have family members who have served or are serving in Iraq. “Someone kept stealing the yellow ribbons that Traci put on the tree in her yard,” Counterman explains. “And we got to thinking about expanding the yellow ribbons, this time bringing them to the CCA campus walkways.” Counterman and Fielden talked up their idea with other CCA staff, and another idea evolved: something more permanent should be created to honor all U.S. veterans.
Counterman admits that while their concept for honoring active service members and veterans has changed since its inception, she and Fielden are more than satisfied with its final form. “Since the beginning, the main idea has never shifted from its original mission—to honor our military,” she explains. “Remember, past, present and future—freedom is not free.”
Organizers have a very special ceremony planned for the 11th, which also is Veterans Day. Following opening remarks, there will be an introduction of distinguished guests and recognition of the sponsors who made the installation possible. There then will be a posting of the colors by the Buckley Air Force Base Joint Color Guard, and the National Anthem will be sung by Randall Matale, a CCA theater student.
Guest speaker John Barry, superintendent of Aurora Public Schools, will deliver keynote remarks. Before becoming superintendent of APS in 2006, Barry had a distinguished military and business career. He served for more than 30 years as a fighter pilot and a commander in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a “Two-Star” Major General.
Following Barry’s talk, President Linda Bowman will offer remarks and acknowledgements.