DENVER (CBS4) – Thousands gathered at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver to remember America’s fallen heroes on Memorial Day and the heroes got the ceremony they deserved thanks to a special bell.
“The Honor Bell’s mission is to ensure that the men and women who have worn our country’s uniform receive a final tribute at their passing,” Lou Olivera with the Honor Bell Foundation said.
The first Honor Bell was forged last week and will now toll at any veteran’s funeral when it’s requested at Fort Logan.
“It will only be tolled to provide honors to veterans and it will also only be tolled by veterans,” Olivera said.
It will toll seven times.
“Seven is the number of completion and is signifies a veteran’s life coming full circle,” Olivera said.
The bell was made with medals and dog tags from 12 Colorado veterans.
“The inclusion of these dignified artifacts such as dog tags, campaign medals, made the bell truly forged from honor,” Olivera said.
“My husband passed away March 2 and a few days later they called me and asked me if I wanted to take part in it,” said veteran’s widow Gail Tanne.
Tanne’s husband’s Purple Heart is part of the bell.
“I’m flabbergasted; it makes me cry because they’ve done a lot of hard work and I don’t know if we deserve it because those people and that bell are real exceptional,” Tanne said.
There are two goals for the Honor Bell Foundation moving forward. They hope to get a permanent structure for the bell at Fort Logan, and they hope to make 132 more for every other national cemetery in the country.
LINK: Honor Bell Foundation