Memorial Day services remember fallen soldiers in Dillon |

Memorial Day services remember fallen soldiers in Dillon

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

SUMMIT COUNTY – To honor America’s fallen soldiers – both present and past, Dillon’s annual Memorial Day service is set for 10 a.m. Monday at Dillon Cemetery. The cemetery is located at Cemetery Road off Highway 6, east of Dillon.

“The Dillon Town Council believes strongly in recognizing the efforts of those who’ve served and sacrificed for our country, and we’d like to recognize that on an annual basis at the cemetery,” said town manager Devin Granbery, who noted that the traditional program will be similar to those of past years.

The program will include the Summit County Boy Scouts Troop 188 Color Guard; the Summit Concert Band’s performance of the “Star Spangled Banner”; a benediction by Chaplain Andy Meverden; table honors; speakers State Sen. Dan Gibbs and Dillon Mayor Ron Holland; Echo Taps; as well as numerous other guests.

“Dillon’s been the leader on appreciation of our military and the veterans who have served,” Holland said. “It’s just nice to be the spot in Summit County where we can honor our military who’ve given their lives to us.”

According to service welcome speaker Pen Wimbush, the Dillon Cemetery has its own buried fallen soldiers – 41 documented graves for American veterans, to be exact.

“Some of them are really old,” Wimbush said.

And, as an addition to the annual service, that list of local dead will be read along with a list of newly fallen active-duty soldiers.

Another aspect of the service will include Buddy Poppies, which are little red flowers made by hospital volunteers as a fundraising effort for disabled veterans. Poppies will also be handed out to service attendees as they arrive at the cemetery, and all donations collected will go to disabled-veteran services.

“We’ll be there when the first person arrives,” said local veteran Jim Ernst, who is heading up the effort. “Once the ceremony starts, we will stop and join the ceremony. … It’s just a supplement that we can do as citizens for those who are serving us.”

The Buddy Poppy fundraiser collected $900 in 2009, Ernst added. It’s not mandatory to donate funds to receive a Buddy Poppy, but any amount of money is appreciated.

Ernst said the poppy movement is incredibly important to injured soldiers, as there are more than 2.5 million men and women who need disabled-veteran services.

“Every day of the year, not just on Memorial Day, we should respect, honor and thanks the men and women who serve in combat to protect us,” said Gibbs. “These men and women and their families have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and ensure our freedom, and I am so grateful for their courage in service.”

While Monday’s service will honor Colorado’s fallen soldiers, Dillon also plans to hold its second annual Never Forget – An Evening of Tribute event on July 2 to honor current soldiers and veterans.

Dillon’s cemetery service will be followed by a Memorial Day BBQ lunch from noon to 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 1321 Blue River Parkway in Silverthorne. Adults are $10, and children 12 and under are $5.

Caitlin Row can be reached by (970) 668-4633 or at

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