By Dillon Thomas
DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado teenager spent his Memorial Day pacing the rows of headstones at Fort Logan National Cemetery and playing his bagpipes to honor fallen veterans.
Colin Lewis, who is 17, walked the rows of headstones, stopping at burial sites to play iconic patriotic songs for those who ask.
“I do this to show my support, and thankfulness, for what our veterans have done for us,” Lewis told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
Lewis said it started as a tradition on Veteran’s Day, but felt more fitting on Memorial Day.
“When I see a family near a gravestone, I go up to them and ask them if they would like me to play a song,” Lewis said.
Most shed a tear on Monday, and Lewis played his bagpipe at many gravesites.
“All their memories of that person are flooding back to them,” Lewis said.
Lewis played for Lawrence Moran and his daughter, who were at the cemetery to honor two loved ones.
“I came out to pay my respects to my dad and my great-grandfather,” Moran said.
Lewis played bagpipes for them, and brought both to tears.
“It meant a lot. The bagpipes were my dad’s favorite musical instrument,” Moran said, fighting back tears.
“I have seen the biggest, toughest, most tattooed bearded biker dudes, tough guys, be brought to tears by the bagpipes,” Lewis said.
Lewis approached one couple, that was grieving over a burial location. He was told their son was buried there. He played a song for them, as they cried.
“She was kind of overwhelmed with it, a handshake just wasn’t good enough,” Lewis said, describing the moment the mother hugged him. “It was a very intimate moment.”
Lewis said spending his day playing for late-soldiers was the least he could do, after they served his country.
“(Bagpipes) used to be an instrument of war. Which is why it is so suitable for today,” Lewis said.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.