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July 13, 2020

Patriotism, Gratitude for Service Mark County’s Veterans’ Ceremony


Hinsdale County’s annual Veterans’ observance last Friday, November 9, was marked by the traditional heartfelt and solemn tributes amid perhaps less characteristic balmy, occasionally breezy, fall weather.
A large and intent crowd comprised of local residents and a majority of students from Lake City Community School attended the pre-Veterans’ Day ceremony which included Presentation of Colors and Pledge of Allegiance by Lily Fyler’s Kindergarten and 1st Grade students.
With a blue sky backdrop, and flanked in the background by the courthouse and engraved granite Veterans’ memorials, a variety of state, national and Armed Services flags flew in the breeze, including a stark black and white Prisoner of War flag which was held by ceremony coordinator Russ Brown.
Other flag bearers at the service were Babe Vickers, U.S. Flag, and Colorado Flag which was displayed by U.S. Army Vet Mike Tuttle.
County Veterans’ Service Officer Erin Cavit and her husband, Dennis Cavit, were bearers for the U.S. Maine Corps and U.S. Air Force flags; Ed Nettleton was bearer for the U.S. Navy flag, and audience member Larry Iiams was recruited to serve as bearer for the U.S. Army flag.
Rounding out and concluding Friday’s ceremony was a quartet comprised of Dan Wampler, Lisa Higgins, John Roose, and Mindy McClung singing the National Anthem.
Applause greeted Russ Brown’s reading of his newest poem, “Veterans Day Remembrance,” which he penned especially for the Friday morning observance. Brown is also the author of a poem which he read for the Memorial Day observance this year, entitled “Remember Them This Special Day.”
In his Veterans’ Day Service remarks, Air Force Veteran Dennis Cavit recalled the distinction between Memorial Day in May and the annual fall November observance which, prior to being known
as Veterans’ Day, was formally designated as Armistice Day with the signing of Armistice ending World War I occurring on the 11th hour of November’s 11th day, 1918.
Present-day Veterans’ Day, he said, “celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.”
When asked by Cavit for a show of hands from those who personally knew or had relatives who served in the Armed Forces, nearly every hand in the audience was raised.
“Whether it was in combat or keeping the peace, exposure to Agent Orange, nuclear radiation, asbestos, aircraft engine noise, burn pits of Iraq or the rays of the sun on the airfield ramp,” Cavit said, “veterans have served with honor and distinction for our great country.”
Cavit briefly recounted statistics that an estimated 20-million Veterans reside in the United States today, including 407,000 in Colorado, and approximately 100 “who call Hinsdale County home.”
Recounting his own family’s personal commitment to the U.S. Armed Forces, Cavit,m a retired Colonel with the U.S. Air Force, recounted that his father served with the U.S. Air Corps during World War II and was a prisoner of war for 13 months after his air craft was shot down.
In addition to his father and mother, the latter a WWII member of the Army Nurse Corps, Cavit said his wife, Veterans Service Officer Erin Cavit, served with the U.S. Air Force for 16 years.

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