Veterans Day Ceremony in Fruita

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 11:19 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - From parks to schools, people stopped on Friday to thank the men and women who joined the military and served our country.

These kinds of ceremonies are deeply personal and impact thousands in our community. Let’s put it in perspective, in Mesa County alone, 11,000 of your neighbors are veterans.

“To recognize those service members that have, you know, chosen to put up their right hand and swear to support and defend,” said Dominic Edginton, a veteran.

People placed their hands to the heart, there were flyovers in the sky, and flags waved to show appreciation for those men and women all bound to one common commitment-- the fight for freedom.

Edginton knows this. “I chose to serve. You know, I love the way of life in this country, and I want to do my part to support and defend it, and, you know, I did 22 years, and I would do it all over again.”

He says he’s moved by the admiration and love the Western Slope shows its veterans. “I was just inspired by how the community here on the Western Slope rallied around its veterans and continues to rally around its veterans.”

And people like Jim Doody make sure of that. “This memorial is kind of special because it’s sitting in the heart of Colorado,” said Doody. “This is the busiest welcome center in Colorado. It gets over 300,000 visitors a year.”

Doody founded the park. It’s a welcome home for Vietnam veterans who didn’t get a welcome home. “They have this special day, November 11, and my mission in life was to give them a welcome home,” said Dooty.

Jim lost one of his three brothers during the Vietnam war. “So he was flying that helicopter that’s right behind me. And that was the inspiration to build the memorial so that we don’t forget that there are those sacrifices, and he gave the ultimate sacrifice. It’s been over 50 years, but I remember him every day.”

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