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Buckley, community remember fallen heroes

World War II veterans stand to be recognized during the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (courtesy photo)

World War II veterans stand to be recognized during the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (courtesy photo)

A Navy plane flies over the Colorado Freedom Memorial as part of the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

A Navy plane flies over the Colorado Freedom Memorial as part of the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Maj. Gen. Michael Edwards, Adjutant General for Colorado, speaks to the crowd during the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Maj. Gen. Michael Edwards, Adjutant General for Colorado, speaks to the crowd during the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, gives a speech during the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (courtesy photo)

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, gives a speech during the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (courtesy photo)

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, speaks with World War II veterans during the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (courtesy photo)

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, speaks with World War II veterans during the Memorial Day ceremony May 23, 2015, at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colorado. This year’s ceremony had multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (courtesy photo)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Buckley Air Force Base recognized Memorial Day with a ceremony May 23 at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, Colorado.

During the ceremony, there were multiple guest speakers, flyovers, military displays and a time to recognize Colorado veterans from World War II. This year's ceremony was special because it also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

"Today we continue to fight, protect and defend our constitution and our way of life," said Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander. "It is due to the sacrifices of our veterans - the sacrifices of many of you here - that we truly know what the terms sacrifice, honor, respect, and justice truly mean."

This year's ceremony had the biggest attendance that Rick Crandall, Colorado Freedom Memorial president, had ever seen, he said.

"It's inspiring to see a crowd this size here today - despite the weather - to remember and honor our American heroes today," Wagner said.

Over 200 community leaders, veterans, military families and current service members all gathered at the memorial to give thanks and remembrance to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

"To all our true American Heroes - all in attendance today and all that we remember - I extend my eternal gratitude on behalf of the 13,000 men and women of Buckley AFB just south of here -who are on point for our nation around the globe each and every minute, every day, every year," Wagner said. "We are continuing your legacy of service."

Lastly, Wagner thanked all the veterans for paving the way for the younger generation of service members.

"They forged modern America over their lifetimes and our place in this world," Wagner said. "We are standing on the shoulders of giants. Your positive example will never be forgotten. Thank you all so very much for what you have done for each of us and our great nation."

Team Buckley members also took the time to clean up the freedom memorial earlier in the week to prepare for the ceremony as well as hosting an on-base ceremony as well. It was not just one day of recognition, it was a full week dedicated to those fallen Colorado heroes, he said.
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