Council endorses 9/11 monument

Chris Frost Lamar Ledger

Lamar, Colorado — During its Monday, Feb. 23, meeting, The Lamar City Council voted unanimously to support the memorial being planned by the Tri-State 9/11 Remembrance Committee.

The memorial will be a shimmering offset shimmering heart, flanked by a helicopter and ambulance on either side planned for across from Mission Villanueva, while a Patriotic mural will be designed and created by students and painted on the white wall behind the grandstands at the fairgrounds.

The memorial is being designed by students, he said, and Foundation Chairman Doug Harbour hopes to have a flag pole at the site and metal sculptures of military and first responders next the walkway going through the area.

“We are trying to go through private funding for these two projects,” he said. “This would be a way to enhance the area by the ball fields and get people to come in there if there is a playground for kids to play at.”

He created a packet and visited with the El Pomar Foundation in Colorado Springs to solicit funding.

“If I can get a letter of support for these projects, I will personally take it to El Pomar and hand deliver the letter,” Harbour said. “That will really enhance our project for possible funding.”

The patriotic mural planning continues, foundation Treasurer Carla Scranton said, and they are working with the Fair Board to make it happen.

“We are going to do a contest with the area school children and come up with some concepts,” she said. “It will feature an American Bald Eagle and American Flag and the kids can work with that.”

Harbour added that he hopes to put the final entries into the newspaper.

“The Southeast Colorado Arts Council will be the judges,” she said. “They have funding and paint for the mural.”

The mural will be framed by handprints and will be dated and signed.

Harbour told the council that the foundation that it received its 501c3 designation from the Internal Revenue Service.

“We are so proud of that and it only took two months,” he said. “It’s amazing because the thought we would have a 2-3 year wait but it went right through.”

Everything is proceeding on schedule, he said, and the group is starting early because the event is growing.

“The parade will be on September 12,” he said. “We went down 6th Street, over to 9th Street, and then over to the fairgrounds. I think this worked well.”

Harbour said he was, at first, a little disappointed with the attendance, but Police Chief Kyle Miller told him that there were a lot of people and they were spread out more because of the length of the parade.

“I think having done this once, we set precedence and now it will grow. I am anticipating that next year it will as big or bigger.”

The Fourth Infantry Division Band is committed to the event, he said, and appreciated how nicely they were treated when they made the trip last year.

When they went to the Barbeque, all the people gave them an ovation, he said, which was neat to see.

“The Colorado National Guard called me and they are going to come down here in the next couple of weeks,” he said. “The battalion commander wants to get a larger footprint in Southeastern Colorado. ”

The Dessert Rain musical group, which performed at the 2014 remembrance, gave a tentative yes to attend in 2015.

“Unless they have something come up that conflicts, they will be back,” Scranton said.

The concert was held at 5 p.m. last year, she said, and much of the crowd had already dissipated.

“This year we are going to have it immediately after the formal ceremony, which starts at 1 p.m., and keep the crowd there,” she said. “The Boy Scouts will do its flag retirement at 11 a.m. and the barbeque will start at around 12 p.m.”

There will be music from the Arkansas Valley Wind and Percussion Group during the BBQ and the group is working with Shane Daschner to organize a 5K run during the remembrance.

Mayor Roger Stagner said the council will take action on the letter at the March 9, meeting.

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