The 2018 Memorial Day Ceremony was a tremendous success for the Elizabeth community. Over 300 citizens attended the ceremony. Bonnie Rought, Commander of American Legion Post 82, was the Master of Ceremonies. The event began with the American Legion Post 82 Honor Guard raising the National Colors and then lowering them to half-staff. The High Plains Singers sang an amazing A Capella version of the National Anthem. The Military Branch flags were raised with the assistance of Boy Scouts from Troop 636, Girl Scouts from troop 2381 and the Elizabeth Venture Scouts Crew. The Army flag was raised by 2LT Connor Wills, who was commissioned May 13, 2018, Infantry, at Norwich University. The Marine Corps flag was raised by Marine Corps veteran Don Goldston, who served from 1970 - 1974 and is a Viet Nam era veteran. The Navy flag was raised by Harold “John” Jurewicz, retired Chief Petty Officer. John served from 1991 -2015 and was deployed 3 times in support of the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Unified Protector. Judith Benham raised the Air Force flag. She is a Viet Nam era veteran and served in the late 1960’s at Westover Air Force Base. Retired Chief Warrant Officer (CW-3) Neal Lovins, who served 20 years in the US Coast Guard, raised the Coast Guard flag. Chris Boyer, who was a US Marine Corps Corporal, was the keynote speaker. Chris served with F Battery, 2nd Battalion, 12th Marines as a cannoneer in Iraq. Chris served 4 years on active duty. Chris has PTSD and speaks publicly about his disorder and the strategies that he uses to control it. Chris gave an amazing speech that left the audience quiet and contemplative. Chris attributes much of his recent success with his battle with PTSD to his equestrian therapy at Eagles Nest Ranch in Elizabeth, CO. Chris was presented with a challenge coin and a certificate by Commander Bonnie Rought. The High Plains Singers sang God Bless America and the American Legion Post 82 Honor Guard performed the customary three (3) volley salute to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, the giving of their life for our country. At the end of the program, a lone F-16 did a flyover. The pilot was Major Josh “Ratt” Burger. He is a member of the 120th Fighter Squadron, part of the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard, stationed at Buckley Air Force Base. It was a fitting end to a moving ceremony.
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