This past Sunday, May 26, was the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that I may have the freedom to write this letter.
For the past eight years, as part of this day, there are several of us who ride our motorcycles from Silverthorne to the cemetery. The Summit Fire and EMS Services had their truck parked at the Frisco overpass on I-70 and several were standing at salute. As we progressed, the Copper Mountain Fire Department was also out and saluting. And, as always, The Leadville/Lake County Fire-Rescue was in full force, saluting us in front of the station as we rounded the corner. What a tribute to Brad and Rachele Palmer, who coordinate this ride, and to their fallen son, Nicklas. For the last 8 years, Trooper Bourlet with the Colorado State Patrol has escorted us the entire way to ensure that we all stay together as a group. This year there were 35 bikes. My husband and I have ridden our motorcycle every year, and every year, when we get into Leadville, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office together with the Leadville Police Department have helped with the escort, blocking traffic at the light at Safeway, the intersection at West 6th and McWethy, and at the entrance to the cemetery. This year, however, there was an obvious absence of the Sheriff’s Office and only one PD car. And other than Trooper Bourlet, there was zero presence at the ceremony itself from either agency.
I find this to be disgraceful, and there were several in attendance who were extremely disappointed in the lack of support on this very important day and most of all, why were they not there to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price. Where were these agencies? Why was this not important for them? Is this the new norm?