In the history of our state, more than 6,000 Colorado soldiers have been killed at war. Yet there isn’t a memorial honoring the men and woman from our state who gave their lives. But that’s about to change.
It took 12 years to raise the $800,000 needed to build it, but a Denver radio host`s long-time dream of honoring Colorado soldiers killed in action is finally about to become a reality.
“You know I’ve gotten close to the moms and dads of some of those kids, their brothers and sisters. And their greatest fear is that what they sacrificed was for nothing and that it won’t be remembered,” said Crandall.
He wanted to do something about that. So a few years back, he used his platform as program director and morning host at Denver radio station KEZW to start raising money for something that’s never been built anywhere else: a permanent memorial to every Colorado soldier ever killed, in any war. He calls it the Colorado Freedom Memorial.
“It’s a glass wall. It’s about 12 feet tall, about 100 feet long. And on the panels of glass will be etched the names,” Crandall said.
Like the vietnam wall, when it’s finished, you’ll be able to etch the names of your loved ones. It will include the names of each and every soldier from Colorado who’s been killed in action from every conflict, from the Spanish American War, to the 103 soldiers from our state killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“How many can you name of that 103 that were killed in action from Colorado?” Crandall asks. “None, right? I mean, unless you have a personal stake, you wouldn’t know. And that’s the point. The point is if we don’t do something like this to keep those names alive, and to keep people mindful of that sacrifice, they’ll be lost to time.”
And he doesn’t want people like Faith Hinkley lost to time. Hinkley, a 23 year old Army sergeant from Monte Vista, CO was killed in an attack in Iraq in 2010. And according to Rick’s records, she’s the only uniformed service member ever killed in action from Colorado.
“She’s the first. There are some nurses from World War II that will be honored on the Colorado freedom memorial, but they weren’t active duty,” Crandall said.
So Hinkley’s name will be there, along with the 6,000 other soldiers killed since Colorado became a state. On permanent display, so no one can ever forget.
The memorial is being built in a park near Buckley Air Force Base, on land donated by the city of Aurora. The expect to unveil it around Memorial Day of 2013. To learn how you can contribute to the memorial… click here: http://www.cfmf.net/home.asp