Routt County prepares to mark Memorial Day |

Routt County prepares to mark Memorial Day

Boy Scout Kendall Hood places flags honoring Routt County veterans Thursday evening at Steamboat Springs Cemetery. The annual recognition of Memorial Day will take place at 11 a.m. Monday.

— While many Steamboat Springs residents were hopping on their bikes or tying fishing lines Sunday morning, Jim Stanko was at the Steamboat Springs Cemetery, making sure every veteran’s grave was decorated with a flag.

On Monday morning, he hopes hundreds of people again will show up at the cemetery to help honor the local veterans who made great sacrifices for his or her country.

"I know everybody likes to get out and go camping and fishing and stuff," Stanko told the Steamboat Springs City Council last week as he invited them to attend the annual ceremony that usually attracts more than 200 people. "But this is a very important event for the veterans. This is a very important event for the citizens because the people we are honoring at the cemetery during the Memorial Day ceremony are the people who served."

Stanko added that many of the veterans gave their lives, while others "came back and became pillars of this community and helped build this community to what it is today."

This year’s service in Steamboat will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the cease fire of the Korean Conflict.

There will be a special military tribute for three Steamboat-area Army veterans who lost their lives in the combat. They are Ben Ehle Jr., Frank Finch and Leonard "Buddy" Officer.

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Veterans also will read the names of about 24 Korean War veterans who are buried in the cemetery.

Stanko said the cemetery is home to veterans who were former mayors, business leaders and town council and city council members.

"We hope the people who live here today in some way can spend an hour out of their day to stand and show their appreciation for the people who made Steamboat the great place it is today," Stanko said.

The city will provide bus service to the ceremony from Stock Bridge Transit Center starting at 9:45 a.m.

The ceremony starts at 11 a.m.

Other towns in Routt County will host Memorial Day programs at their cemeteries at the following times:

• Hayden: 6 p.m.

• Oak Creek: p.m.

• Yampa: 11 a.m.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

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