Douglas County commissioners pushing to have Kendrick Castillo included in new national memorial


HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (KDVR) — Commissioners in Douglas County hope to honor a hometown hero on a national scale. The commissioners recently submitted the nomination of Kendrick Castillo for President Donald Trump’s new National Garden of American Heroes. 

On May 7, 2019, Castillo was a senior at STEM High School in Highlands Ranch when he was killed by a shooter at the school. Castillo is credited with saving the lives of his classmates during the shooting. 

“What better hero is there than someone who saves others’ lives?” said Lora Thomas. She is one of the three county commissioners who sent a letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior with the recommendation for Castillo.  

READ: Letter from Douglas County commissioners to U.S. Department of the Interior

The president announced the new project earlier this summer and called on communities across the country to nominate exceptional individuals in U.S. history.  

“Immediately it came to my mind: Kendrick Castillo,” said Thomas.  

Castillo’s father, John, was moved by the recommendation to include his son. He said at a time where historical statues across the U.S. have been toppled, he believes there would be no question about his son’s legacy.  

“We want to make choices that are going to be positive influences in our community. Not just because he is my son, but I think his heroic actions proved that,” said Castillo.  

An executive order Trump signed in July gave a new task force 60 days to come up with a list of recommendations for the new garden as well as recommendations for the garden’s location.

That order also states the project should be completed before 250th anniversary of the proclamation of the Declaration Of Independence on July 4, 2026. 

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