DENVER (CBS4)– This weekend a stirring tribute to Americans who have given their lives for freedom is in Denver.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute and Traveling Wall is visiting the Auraria campus.
A soldier named Salvatore Giunta who now lives in Colorado attended the opening ceremony for the display on Friday. Last year, he became the first living American who served since Vietnam to receive the Medal of Honor.
“I wear the medal of honor. I keep it at my house at night but in no way, shape or form does this belong to me, is this me. Nothing like that. This represents all the men and women from the past the present and the future that have decided to raise their hand and serve something greater than themselves, serve this country,” said Giunta.
He was in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province in 2007 when his platoon was ambushed. While others laid down cover, Giunta ran through fire to retrieve two buddies, including one being dragged off by Taliban fighters.
Giunta and his wife have settled in Fort Collins.
“But I told here when people stop telling us what to do and where to go I’ll go wherever she would like to go. She came back form a trip and she said Fort Collins Colorado, 300 days of sunshine, nice people, Colorado State, great atmosphere, mountains. She’s been true to form. I love it here,” said Giunta.
As he looked at the names and pictures on the traveling wall, Giunta said they are more than just names.
“It represents the names on the wall. It represents the men and women who never came home to receive the accolades that they deserve. No thank yous no welcome homes no kiss from their loved ones, people who have given absolutely everything that they could for this country. For us. That’s what this represents,” said Giunta.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute will be at the Auraria campus through Sunday. Several Veteran’s Day events are scheduled at the location.
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Nearly 100 groups will gather to honor active military servicemen and women, veterans, first responders and the fallen for the Denver Veterans Parade.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on the corner of Bannock and Colfax, across from the Webb Building near Civic Center Park. Parade participants will march along 14th St. to Court Pl. They will turn on 15th St. and march to Welton St. They will follow Welton St. to 17th St. At 17th St., they will turn and follow 17th St. to Broadway. Once at Broadway they will march to Colfax and 14th Ave. where the Parade Review stand will be located; between Civic Center Park and the State Capitol.