By Joel Hillan
DENVER (CBS4) – The Honor Bell at Fort Logan National Cemetary tolled to honor its 1,000th veteran on Wednesday.
It started tolling for fallen veterans two years ago, but lack of funding may soon cause the bell to fall silent.
Each time the bell tolls, it costs $100. That cost is not passed along to the family of the veteran, but is covered at 100 percent by The Honor Bell Foundation. Its value is immeasurable to families of those being honored.
“I had heard of it, but I didn’t know it was entailed like this. It was just amazing, an amazing honor just to do that,” said Paul Tasin, a veteran.
He tolled the bell to honor the passing of his 91-year-old father Elio.
“I was thinking every time I struck that bell that was one more send off to my father going into heaven,” Paul said.
His father was a World War II veteran who Paul said was a great dad.
“It’s the final honor that we can give to our departing veterans,” said Denis Spelman, also a veteran.
He volunteers for The Honor Bell Foundation with Executive Director Louis Oliveras.
In the first year, the bell tolled at 300 memorials. The second year is now 700 and counting… a pace they fear is unsustainable.
“We hope that we will not have to have the bell fall silent and that could happen sometime this summer if we don’t get additional funds,” said Oliveras.
They are hoping for another sustaining grant from the Daniels Fund which has made this possible so far, and hope others will be generous as well so eventually every national cemetery would have their own honor bell.
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“Perhaps, we can hear this beautiful solemn tone, each time a veteran is laid to rest.”
The Honor Bell is scheduled to toll for 150 ceremonies over the next three months at Fort Logan National Cemetery. They say, regardless of the funding they will fulfill those commitments.