Remembering West Grand’s Heroes
by Paula Ohri-Chamberlain
It’s been said that “Freedom is never free.” This weekend we celebrate with family gatherings, cookouts and outdoor fun, but let us not forget the true reason for Memorial Day is to remember the brave service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.
Take a few moments this weekend to visit the various locations in our town dedicated to our hometown heroes:
Just off the junction of Hiqhways 9 and 40, tucked between two building that are now the Silver Spruce Senior Apartments, majestically stand seven spruce trees.
In 1946, the students of the Kremmling Union High School, which was located where the apartments are now, planted six trees – one for each of the graduates of Union High School who lost their lives in World War II.
The planting of the trees “was very emotional. Patriotism was so high after the war and to lose so many of our classmates in a small town was hard,” said Laureen Myers who passed away in 2014.
The trees stand today as a symbol of the loss suffered by communities all across our nation. The seventh tree was later planted anonymously and is thought to represent the Korean War.
Veteran’s Memorial Park
The official Cobra Attack Helicopter that adorns the corner of Veteran’s Memorial Park is on loan to our community from the U.S. Government. The bricks lining the walk path are engraved with the names of men and women from our community who have served in the armed forces.
Bricks are still available for sale to honor local servicemen and women. For more information, contact Martha Schake at 970-724-1007 at the school district.
Members of the Kremmling Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be placing flags on the graves of veterans in the Kremmling cemetery starting at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 27t. The public is encouraged to come and pay respect anytime throughout the weekend, and to make sure your loved ones who served our country are remembered with a flag placed on their grave. Contact Pete Petersen at 724-9327.
Grand Lake Memorial Day Parade
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grand Lake’s annual Memorial Day parade has been cancelled.
Editor’s note – The article above was written by Paula Ohri-Chamberlain for the Grand Gazette in May of 2012. It has become an annual keepsake to remind us of our history, traditions and our special places in Kremmling. The “Gold Star Trees” was written by former Kremmling resident Bill Curran who passed away in the fall of 2015.
“On May 10, 1945, students of the Kremmling Union High School planted six trees in honor of six veterans-Robert Polhamus, Eugene Gilbert, John Conklin, Loy Davis, Richard Myers, and Fred Stone-who lost their lives during World War II. The seventh tree was planted later anonymously, and is believed to represent veterans from the Korean War. The trees are located between the Silver Spruce Senior Apartments. WWII Veteran Bill Curran m “Gold Star Trees,” printed below.”
Gold Star Trees
by Bill Curran
I remember when we dedicated these trees
Rod Hinman, Bill Hunter, myself and Ray Breeze
To six schoolmates who had gone on before
To six great guys who died in the war
Now the trees are stately and tall
Things of beauty for one and all
They reach up nearly to the skies We look and tears come in our eyes
We see how strong and straight they rise And we think about those guys
Their lives cut short way too quick
Bob, Loy, Gene, John, Fred and Dick
Their memory lives in each tall tree
They gave their lives, to keep us free
As you enjoy these beautiful trees
We ask you to remember, please
They gave their lives for me and you
When they lost their lives in World War II