During this Thanksgiving season, take some time to remember and honor the sacrifices that so many servicemen and women have made for their country. A great way to do this is by visiting one of the state’s war monuments, memorials or historic sites.
A visit to Colorado’s state capitol in Denver offers the opportunity to see a number of monuments erected to honor the state’s fallen soldiers.
You might be surprised to learn that Colorado had the largest number of volunteers during the Civil War of any territory or state in the Union. Look for the Civil War Memorial, which was unveiled in 1909 and constructed by Captain John D. Howland, an artist and member of the 1st Colorado Cavalry. At the four tablets that adorn the stone base of the monument, visitors can read the inscribed names of Civil War soldiers; the bronze figure standing on the base is that of a Union soldier.
As you continue exploring the state capitol, take a moment to visit the Joseph P. Martinez Statue. Martinez was the first Hispanic Coloradan to be awarded the Medal of Honor for his noteworthy acts of bravery during World War II. The statue can be found in Lincoln Park’s Lower Capitol Lawn.
Also located on the capitol grounds is the Veterans Monument, made up of a tower and wall built from red sandstone from Boulder County, representing vigilance and strength. This memorial stands in honor of past, present and future veterans who lost their lives in their service to the United States.
For more information about the other interesting memorials at the capitol, visit either in person or online at www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/cap/contents.htm.
Just south, in Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, you can find the first monument in Colorado dedicated to the Korean War. The Korean War Memorial stands 8.5-feet tall and is carved from black granite; it honors those who served in “America’s Forgotten War” from 1950 to 1953. The Dutch Nelson Chapter (formerly the Colorado Chapter) of the Korean War Veterans Association also buried a time capsule filled with photographs and personal items underneath the monument. Learn more at www.kwva.org/memorials.
The USS Colorado BB-45 was the third ship of the United States Navy and the lead ship in its particular class of battleships. The ship launched in 1921 and served throughout World War II, specifically in the battles of the Pacific. After 26 years of service, the USS Colorado was deactivated in 1947. Today, the USS Colorado Memorial Bench is dedicated to the many men who served on the ship, and can be seen at the east entrance of the state capitol. In addition, the wheel and bell of the USS Colorado BB-45, along with a scaled model of the ship, can be found at the University Memorial Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Find the full history of the USS Colorado BB-45 and other interesting facts at www.usscolorado.org.
As you gather with friends and family this Thanksgiving season, remember those, from near and far, who gave their lives for this country.