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HONOR BELL TOLLS ITS 3,000TH BELL HONOR FOR VETERANS

April 5th was a typical Colorado spring day. While it was breezy, the sun broke through the clouds to remind us that warmer days were ahead. Despite the chill, a small crowd gathered at Fort Logan National Cemetery’s Committal Shelter A to pay tribute to a loved one whose time had come. After the funeral rites had been pronounced, an American flag was folded and presented to the family. A rifle volley was fired. “Taps” was played. And then shortly after 11 o’clock, the Honor Bell sounded its seven solemn tolls. Like the 2,999 tollings before this one, these tolls were rendered for one of Colorado’s military veterans. And like the others, they represented a commemoration of service, duty, and honor for an individual who served their country, prepared to give their life. The tolling on this day marked the 3,000th time Bell Honors had been rendered since the Honor Bell was dedicated in May of 2016. The honor went to Marine Private First Class William Berg. Berg served in the Korean War with the 1st Marine Division and was present at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

“We are honored that the tolling of the Honor Bell has become such an integral part of military burial honors in Colorado over the last four-plus years,” said Chris Boyer, Executive Director of the Honor Bell Foundation. “We are humbled by the opportunity to help demonstrate to veterans’ families just how honored and respected their loved ones are for the service they performed for our country. These services also bring together our corps of veteran volunteers, who toll the bell. Providing this service for their fellow service members is extremely meaningful to them, allowing them to continue to serve both their veteran family and the community.”

The Honor Bell has begun to render Bell Honors virtually, for those who can’t attend a loved one’s service, for veterans interred in another cemetery other than Fort Logan, or to commemorate the service of a departed vet who passed away long ago. These virtual Bell Honors are performed the same way as in-person honors, and recorded at the request of families or loved ones. For more information on these virtual and in-person Bell Honors, visit the program page at www.honorbell.org/the-bell-honors.

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