Durango parade to honor
November 10, 2001
By Jennifer Reederz
Special to the
The swell of patriotism that arose after
Sept. 11 will manifest itself in special Veterans Day events
this weekend, including free access to state and national
parks and monuments and the first Veterans Day parade in
Durango in more than 30 years.
"This will be the biggest parade Durangoís
seen in years," said John Hardardt, commander of American
Legion Post 28 in Durango. "Veterans Day honors those who
served in the past, present and future."
The parade is sponsored by the American
Legion, Elks Lodge and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Hardardt said community response to the
parade has been tremendous, thanks to the mood of patriotism
locally and nationwide. Scheduled parade participants include
veterans from the Southern Ute Tribe, the Colorado Mounted
Rangers, local representatives of all military branches, the
Durango High School marching band, 4-H groups, the Fiesta Day
queen and a local woman who knitted a red, white and blue
sweater for her dog.
Hardardt said anyone else interested in being
in the parade can show up at the Durango & Silverton
Narrow Gauge Railroad depot before the paradeís start.
The parade will start at 1 p.m. and proceed
down Main Avenue to 12th Street, where it will turn east on
12th Street and then south on East Second Avenue. The parade
will end at the Elks Lodge, 901 East Second Ave., where there
will be music and speeches by veterans. Also, the sponsoring
groups will hold open houses for the remainder of the day.
"Sept. 11 has really rekindled the spirit of
patriotism," said Dennis Guzik, manager of the Elks Lodge.
"Itís really drawing the country back together."
Nick Jordan, a trustee of VFW Post 4031, said
various members of the community have wandered into the VFW to
thank the veterans for their efforts on behalf of the country.
"It makes all of us feel very, very proud that we served," he
Hardardt hopes the turnout for the parade is
as large as the response of participants. He also urges
citizens to respect flag etiquette. Observers should wear flag
pins on the left side of their chests and remove their hats,
or "uncover," in the presence of the flag. When the flag
passes by during the parade, observers should stand and place
their hands over their hearts, he said.
Members of the public can also celebrate
Veterans Day by visiting state parks throughout the weekend at
"Visiting one of our state parks is one way
Coloradans can honor the victims of the recent tragedies and
those military personnel who are fighting for our freedoms,"
said Gov. Bill Owens in a written statement. "Our parks and
memorials stand as a place of refuge in these trying and
All national parks and monuments will have
free admission today through Monday for a "National Weekend of
Unity, Hope and Healing," according to the Department of the
Interiorís Web site. Mesa Verde National Park will waive its
$10 per car entrance fee. Visitors to Aztec Ruins National
Monument in New Mexico will save $4.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument,
near Cortez, will hold a program at 1 p.m. Sunday at the
Anasazi Heritage Center near Dolores. Navajo code talkers, who
were recruited in World War II to use their native language
for intelligence purposes, will screen a movie and talk about
their role in the war.
At 6 p.m. Sunday, three Navajo Code Talkers will receive an
award at VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave. The three are Wilfred
Billy, Keith Little and William Kine. Billy will be a torch
bearer at the 2002 Winter Olympics, VFW Commander Fred