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Never forget

Post Independent Photo/Kelley CoxDan LeVan Sr., of American Legion Post 83, introduces speakers at Monday's Memorial Day ceremony in Glenwood Springs.
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Korean War veteran Dan LeVan considers himself a brother to the 435 veterans buried at Rosebud Cemetery in Glenwood Springs.Its a pretty strong brotherhood, said the 76-year-old chairman of Mondays Memorial Day service at Rosebud, where more than 400 American flags marked military members graves. You can actually end up with a much closer bond than a husband and wife or family. Some military ties can be so strong.LeVan, who has coordinated American Legion Post 83s Memorial Day ceremony for the past 10 years, said the remembrance is a way to show his respect for those who have served and died in war.Mostly we feel a pride in doing this memorial service, he said. Every person who goes in the military has earned the right to have a military funeral or have their graves taken care of by their buddies. They are entitled to a presentation of the colors.LeVans wife of 47 years, Pat, said the annual Memorial Day service symbolizes her husbands caring nature.He gets pretty emotional about it, said Pat, who met her husband while the two were working at Yellowstone National Park. He has so much respect for veterans and their families.After Mondays service, LeVan told of his experiences in the Armys 1st Calvary Division and time he spent in the Pacific during the Korean War. He and four of his high school buddies joined the Army on the same day, a year after graduating in Idaho in 1948.We were too young to be in World War II, but after the war, everybody my age joined because we just figured we would be in a war with Russia, he said. Im proud of what we did over there. I dont necessarily like war, but it was just something we had to do as far as the allied forces were concerned. It was the first war that pretty much stopped communism from spreading. It was a peace-treaty type of thing.Decades later, LeVans two sons, Michael and Dan Jr., followed in their fathers military footsteps. Michael joined the Marine Corps, and Dan Jr. served in the Air Force and the National Guard.Were all gung-ho and proud to have served, Dan Sr. said. Its a feeling of camaraderie.As taps concluded Mondays service, Dan Sr. choked back tears.Theres always a sadness when taps is played, he said. Theres something about being in the cemetery saying hi to the old-timers and buddies who have died.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com


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