Army veterans and their families gathered at Colorado Springs’ Evergreen Cemetery this Memorial Day to pay tribute to fallen soldiers.
At the cemetery are buried soldiers from the Civil War to World War II, and a lone Buffalo Soldier, George Mason.
One of the attendees on Monday was Brandon Wheeler, an Iraq War veteran and member of Living History Colorado, a group dedicated to preserving the memory of the United States Armed Forces.
Flags and tributes mark the Memorial Day holiday are placed among the headstones in Fort Logan National Cemetery Monday, May 31, 2021, in southeast Denver. More than 105,000 graves were decorated with flags to mark the holiday. (AP)
“One of the worst things that could ever happen after someone goes is to literally forget them,” Wheller told KDVR, the Fox–affiliated TV station in Denver. “By having a point in time where you are kind of forced to remember, it helps you remember those who are lost, regardless if you knew them or not.”
Wheeler, who is now a journalism student at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, says he has a particular friend in mind, Christopher Horton, who was killed in Afghanistan in September 2011.
“It’s one of those where I try to make sure that whatever I am doing in life honors him but is also going to make him proud,” Wheeler said.
Another attendee was Tray Quinn, who was representing the Buffalo Soldiers’ legacy, led a procession to the gravesite of George Mason.
Mason, who was a Buffalo Soldier in the early 20th century, was buried at the gravesite in 1929. Buffalo Soldiers were African American cavalry and infantry regiments created after Congress passed the Army Organization Act in 1866. Their service officially came to an end shortly after President Harry Truman ended racial segregation in the armed forces in 1948.
“I’m very happy to be out here, I’m very excited to have been able to do this again,” Quinn told KKTV, the CBS affiliated TV station in Colorado Springs. “This my sixth year doing this. I wouldn’t miss it for the world, whether it was rain or shine.”