Up and down el Rio Blanco: Patriotism

Patriotism is defined as “a love of one’s country and a willingness to sacrifice for it.”
Patriotism was demonstrated last weekend in Meeker during the 126th annual Range Call Celebration. Four event-filled days, including music, a pageant, a bank robbery reenactment, games, races, a barbecue, pancakes, camel rides, a parade and the longest running rodeo in the great state of Colorado.
Many individuals and organizations deserve a big thank you for pulling off yet another successful celebration including the Range Call committee, the Meeker Chamber of Commerce, the Rio Blanco County Historical Society, the Lions Club, the Masonic Lodge, the ERBM Recreation and Parks District, town and county officials, law enforcement, the Meeker Volunteer Fire and Rescue District and hundreds of volunteers toting and lifting, setting up, organizing the different events and cleaning up after them.
But again, in my humble opinion, the biggest thank you is to all the veterans who have willingly sacrificed for the love of our country, our rights and our freedom.
Local VFW commander Tom Kilduff asked all veterans to “fall in” behind the color guard during the parade and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get a group shot of the gathered veterans. I asked my friend, Dale Hallebach, to take the photo. We planned to meet at the Fairfield Center, which then changed to Mountain Valley Bank, which then changed to in front of RBC Sheriff Si Woodruff’s home. I recognized veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and others who served during times of peace. I was happy to see people I have known for several years, yet had not known they served our country in the armed forces.
I know several veterans were in Meeker during the parade but were not in the picture, please know we are thankful for your service too. Maybe we can gather more veterans for another group photo on Veteran’s Day.
We have tried to express our thanks to local veterans on the front page of this week’s issue. Although the Herald Times has thanked our veterans many times before in our pages since 1885, never before have we published a paper with a front page similar to this one, designed to honor and thank our veterans publicly.
It took a bit of explaining to Tonya (Morris), our production person, for her to understand what I wanted to do but once she got it, she created something better than I envisioned, I hope you enjoy it.
Thank you veterans, may God bless you and the United States of America.