First Responders Appreciation Day at Mancos State Park
All law enforcement first-responders in the Four Corners area and the public are invited to First Responders Appreciation Day, Aug. 17, at Mancos State Park in southwest Colorado
“The event honors all first responders, dispatchers, search and rescue and military. All public safety professionals and volunteers, military members and their families are invited to a day of honor and remembrance, as well as fun, family games and food,” said Scot Elder, Mancos manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The day begins at 10 a.m. in the park amphitheater with a combined honor/color guard from the Southern Ute Veterans Association, American Legion Ute Mountain Post No. 75 from Cortez, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5231 from Cortez, and the Civil Air Patrol Mesa Verde Cadet Squadron from Pleasant View. The National Anthem will be sung by Fort Lewis College music student Tayler Smith.
Ecumenical invocations will be given by: Shawn S. Smith , a board member of Congregation Har Shalon in Durango and Chaplain of the Masonic Lodge in Pagosa Springs; Carol Bylsma, representing the Four Corners Unitarian Universalist Congregation; and the Rev. Craig Paschal, Mancos United Methodist Church.
Jim Lynch and Chuck Riggs of the Westwind Pipes and Drum will perform “Going Home.” The tune is based on Antonin Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony - “The New World” - and is often played at funerals for military and public safety personnel.
Local musician Tom Kochanski will perform two inspirational songs: “Cold Missouri Waters”, written in the 1990s to commemorate 13 firefighters who died in the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire in Montana. His second song will be “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Remarks will be made by: Colorado State Senator Don Coram; Colorado State Rep. Marc Catlin; Colorado State Patrol Capt. Adrian Driscoll; Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin; Cortez Police Chief Roy Lane; Scott Anderson, Emergency Medical Services Supervisor, Southwest Health System; and Chief David Burke of the Farmington Fire Department.
Family and first responders who want to honor the fallen, are invited to come to the park’s Remembrance Boot where they can leave photos or written expressions as remembrances.
The $8 park entry fee will be waived first responders. Vehicles with a military veteran, active duty military personnel or reserve members can enter all Colorado state parks for free in August with proper identification.
Following the ceremony, first responders and their families are invited to a free barbecue, musical performances, family games and inter-agency competitions. Elder said that all park visitors also can take advantage of the fishing, boating and hiking opportunities at the park, as well as the musical performances.
Those who bring boats must have current registration and an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) stamp. Each boat launched in the lake must undergo a free ANS inspection before launching, Elder noted.
“First Responder Appreciation Day is an opportunity for public safety and military personnel, their families, and the people they serve to honor and remember those who help the community in this unique and sometimes dangerous way,” Elder said.
For more information contact Mancos State Park at (970) 533-7065.