Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Graham Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Boulder star lighting ceremony this Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, began with the standing of the CU Color Guard filing out of the lodge one-by-one, raising the flags high in the windy Boulder night. With the poles piercing the cold sky, the national anthem enveloped the hillside on which the crowd of civilians and veterans stood silently in respect.
Retired Marine Rex Laceby kicked off the speaking. The event took place off of Flagstaff Road at a small lodge across the street from Flagstaff House restaurant. Amongst the keynote speakers were Congressman Jared Polis,John Tayer, Commander Walt Morgan, Mayor Matthew Appelbaum, Representative Aaron Torres and Doctor Lisa Severy.
“This is a very monumental ceremony as we not only honor the brave men and women that have been dedicating their lives and sacrificing their own freedoms for the defense of this great nation on Veteran’s day, but we also honor the community of Boulder with the lighting of this star” Laceby said.
Following Laceby, President and CEO of Boulder Chamber John Tayer took the microphone. Along with Laceby, Tayer spearheaded this event to create a bond between the merit of the holiday and the Boulder star.
“This event is about the privilege to thank and honor our veterans” Tayer said.
The Boulder star has been the beacon of a 40-year tradition, revolving around the concept of leadership, Mayor Appelbaum said. The star has served as a figure of identity for the Boulder community, and now has been bridged with this respected holiday. It’s a “reminder of the remarkable service that the veterans have provided,” Mayor Appelbaum said.
Aaron Torres, a Navy veteran and representative of Senator Michael Bennett, shared a few words at the commemoration as well. Speaking on behalf of the senator, Torres said, “Veterans Day is a great day for the community and veterans to realize the sacrifice they made.”
For some, this was not the first ceremony they attended for the day. Starting at 5 a.m., Congressman Jared Polis drove to Fort Collins to serve breakfast to veterans. That afternoon, he attended the ceremony on CU’s campus in the Glenn Miller Ballroom at the University Memorial Center. Then he drove up the Flatirons to the star lighting ceremony.
“Everybody, in times of peace and war, those who put on the uniform, are our heroes,” Congressman Polis said.
CU Interim Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Dr. Lisa Severy ended the speeches on a special note. Proud of the student veterans that are part of the CU community, she thanked them for their contribution to educational growth. She reflected on the Boulder star. She questioned the significance of it when she was young, but she has now come to understand the weight that the Boulder star carries.
The “star is our way of remembering [the veterans], to keep them close to home when they can’t be [here],” Severy said.
The night ended with the flip of a switch, when the Boulder star lit up, illuminating the night sky. The crowd stood in silence, taking a moment to comprehend all of what had just been said, with the glowing star standing strong on the mountain side.