Honor Tree
Lighting ceremony in OCC to salute military Dec. 10

       Somewhere on the Westside is an Iraq War veteran who does not yet know that he will become a key part of the Honor Tree Lighting Ceremony Saturday, Dec. 10 in the Old Town Plaza in Old Colorado City.
       A “surprise” is being planned (with the help of the veteran's family) that will bring him to the plaza at 25th Street and Colorado Avenue at 5 p.m., according to Lynda Dunne, who is organizing the event for the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants as part of their “It's Christmas! In Old Colorado City” promotional.
       Once the soldier is apprised of the situation (and his name revealed), he will help count down the activation of the 40-foot spruce tree's red, white and blue lights as a “tribute to our many brave troops stationed overseas and their families,” Dunne said.
       There has been a slight change in plans for the “mini-parade” preceding the lighting. The Fort Carson mounted color guard had originally been slated to proceed into the plaza from Colorado Avenue, but now it will start from the public parking lot on the opposite side of 25th Street. Dunne said the change was necessary because the city would have charged OCCA $300 to close off Colorado Avenue for this activity, even if it lasted just a few minutes.
       Also participating will be the Peterson Field High Frontier Honor Guard, which will pre-post the flags of every branch of the service in the plaza; and Howbert Elementary's Cub Scout Pack 6, which will help pass out candles and lead the pledge of allegiance. West-side leader Dave Hughes, a decorated Korean War veteran who retired as a colonel, will be the emcee for the roughly half-hour ceremony.
       A representative of each branch of the military will be on hand and presented with an award of appreciation, Dunne said.
       Caroling will conclude the event, in which people can sing along with Fort Carson's Harmony in Motion group.
       The event is free and the public is welcome to attend.

Westside Pioneer article