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As we paddle and hike and bar-b-que our way through this Memorial Day weekend, there are veterans and their families among us who cannot forget the significance of this holiday. Nor should we. We have at least a few local events that honor our veterans and the public is invited — in fact encouraged — to attend and honor the sacrifices of our military, who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives for our freedoms.

Winds on the flags at the Veterans Memorial in Poncha Springs, lowered to half-mast in honor of the Uvalde massacre of 19 children and two teachers on May 24, 2022. AVV staff photo.

11:00 a.m. Sunday, May 28 — American Legion District 12 Hoosier Pass Ceremony

This gathering at the top of Hoosier Pass is an annual commemoration for all District 12 Posts including Salida, Buena Vista, Summit County, Fairplay, and Bailey. The annual ceremony includes a flag honor guard, rifle salute, and taps.

9:00 a.m. Monday, May 29 — Memorial Day ceremony at Poncha Springs Veterans Memorial Park

The memorial service will be held beneath the service flags in the Memorial Park at the intersection of U.S. 285 and U.S. 50. The memorial will be followed by a rifle salute and taps at Poncha Springs Cemetery, followed by a repeat ceremony honoring military dead at Fairview Cemetery in Salida around 10:30 a.m.

Memorial Day is the rename for what was originally known as Decoration Day — a day to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead. As the civil war veterans aged and died, the country found itself embroiled in other conflicts, such as the Spanish-American War. Then following World War I, the May Observation was renamed as a day to memorialize the service and sacrifices of all who have served their country and given their lives. It became a national holiday in 1971.