Senior Airman Isaiah Benavidez, from the 310th Mission Support Group, presents a commemorative pin to the father of one of Colorado's fallen veterans during the 11th Annual Veterans Memorial Day Tribute in Denver. Airmen from ARPC and the 310th MSG participated in the event May 29. (U.S. Air Force photo/Cindy Dewey)
Lt. Col. Doug Ottinger, (left) and his son, Private 1st Class Christopher Ottinger participate in the 11th Annual Veterans Memorial Day Tribute on May 29. Airmen from ARPC and the 310th Mission Support Group were amongst the volunteers who gathered in Denver to honor and recognize fallen veterans and their family members. (U.S. Air Force photo/Cindy Dewey)
6/3/2010 - DENVER -- Remembering those who died protecting our nation, Airmen from the Air Reserve Personnel Center and the 310th Mission Support Group assisted with the 11th Annual Veterans Memorial Day Tribute on May 29.
Military and civilian volunteers, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, state Rep. Joe Rice and U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, joined families and friends of Colorado's fallen who gathered in Civic Center Park near the state capitol in Denver to pay tribute.
"I volunteered to participate because this event recognizes and remembers the sacrifices that our brothers and sisters gave to protect the freedoms that all Americans have," said Staff Sgt. Hugh Robinson, one of 18 volunteers from ARPC and the 310th MSG. "They paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives to that cause. It is important to those family members left behind that we show our support for them and thank them."
Founded in May 2000, the Veterans Memorial Day Tribute remembers those who sacrificed their lives for freedom and honors their service and the families they left behind. The event is non-profit and arranged by an all-volunteer committee.
Families attending for the first time are presented with a tribute banner embroidered with their veteran's name. Each consecutive year, the family receives a gold commemorative pin which can be attached to the banner.
"It makes me proud of the men and women I serve with and the country we fight for," said Lt. Col. Doug Ottinger, ARPC Director of Assignments. Colonel Ottinger's son, Pfc. Christopher Ottinger, also volunteered at the tribute.
In conjunction with the Memorial Day tribute, The Forgotten Heroes Campaign presents medals that were earned but never received to members of the armed forces.
"It's the right thing to do and it needs to happen," Capt. Drew Williams, commander, 310th Military Personnel Flight, said. "It is events such as this that make you realize how short life can be and to make the most of every day. It makes you realize that the cost of freedom isn't cheap and that it should never be taken for granted."
8/2/2010 4:17:27 PM ET What a nice story about a great event Good job Cindy