A reason to remember

Staff Report
Jan Detwiler roams Rose Hill Cemetery in Rifle Friday, searching for gravestones of veterans. Every year, friends, family and members of American Legion Kelly-Hansen Post 78 come to the cemetery to place flags by the graves of veterans.
Ryan Hoffman / Citizen Telegram |

Residents in western Garfield County commemorated Memorial Day with ceremonies and other gestures throughout the weekend remembering those who served in the armed forces.

In Rifle, members of American Legion Kelly-Hansen Post 78, along with some friends and family members, marked the graves of deceased veterans in Rose Hill Cemetery with American flags on Friday.

They also replaced weathered or torn stickers denoting military service placed in years past on gravestones with new ones. The post does not know officially how many veterans are buried in Rose Hill, said Jan Detwiler, post member and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. The post does the best it can to get to every grave, but some inevitably get missed. Detwiler brought 500 flags to the cemetery on Friday. The extras were placed at the West Garfield County Veterans Memorial in Rifle.

In New Castle, Boy Scout Troop No. 221 was on hand in Highland Cemetery for a flag ceremony on Memorial Day. American Legion Post 164 members served as the honor guard. Speaking to the importance of the holiday, New Castle Mayor Bob Gordon gave a brief history of Memorial Day before thanking the Boy Scout troop.

“I am so proud of these scouts,” Gordon said.

Latter that day, a private ceremony was hosted at the Colorado State Veterans Home in Rifle. American Legion Post 164 members retired the colors, and family members placed photos of loved ones who died during the past 12 months on a table in remembrance. Afterwards motorcyclists, some with American flags, rode by the home to honor the veterans.

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