DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado’s fallen heroes were honored Saturday in Denver as part of Memorial Day Weekend.
A new tribute will soon be built in Lincoln Park across from the state Capitol building. A state law that was created in 2007 requires the memorial to honor Coloradans killed in action.
Hundreds gathered in a Denver church to honor the men and women who have died in the name of freedom — and their families who’ve lost a loved one.
“I think that’s the biggest fear of all of us, is that our loved one will be forgotten,” said Rebecca Kim, chair of the Colorado Fallen Heroes Memorial.
U.S. Army Cpt. Russell Rippetoe was killed by a pregnant suicide bomber while serving in Iraq in 2003.
“It was earth-shattering. I mean, you (starts to cry), you’re not prepared for that,” Kim said.
Neither was Stacia Harris, who became a widow at the age of 22.
“Once I saw that it was a Marine notification team I kind of knew,” Stacia Harris said. “If they come, then it’s because the person has been killed.”
Cpl. Larry Harris Jr. was killed by an IED in 2010 while saving the life of a fellow Marine in Afghanistan.
“I don’t think it was really until his unit came back from Afghanistan that year, and he wasn’t with them, that I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is real,’” Stacia Harris said.
Real pain, and real sacrifice that the families ask for everyone to remember.
“It’s perfectly great and wonderful to take time to spend with your family and friends and have fun, go on vacations, and barbecue. But just take a few minutes to remember the people who made that possible for you,” Stacia Harris said.
“Remember the sacrifices, and honor the sacrifices of those men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice for us,” Kim said.
The Colorado Fallen Heroes Memorial is in the process of raising funds. They hope to raise enough to build it in Lincoln Park within the next year.