Members of American Legion Post 58 present a rifle salute during Thursday’s Veterans Day ceremony in Broomfield. (Michael Hicks / Editor)
The sun was shining Thursday and several American flags flew steadily in the wind as community members gathered in folding chairs outside the Broomfield Veterans Museum.
The museum held its annual Veterans Day ceremony to honor veterans with a speaker, military reenactors, music and a presentation of the colors.
Museum Board President Lew Roman opened the ceremony speaking to a crowd sprinkled with different branches of veteran memorabilia.
“Veterans Day is a chance to come together and honor those who wrote a blank check to our government, spending years of service to our country and for its service,” Roman said. “Many are in attendance today as you all see. We remind each other why places like the Broomfield Veterans Museum here matters a lot.”
Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum president Lew Roman speaks to the crowd during Thursday’s Veterans Day ceremony. (Michael Hicks / Editor)
Chaplain (Col.) Andy Meverden served as the event’s keynote speaker, who first prayed for the veterans and their families and then spoke of some of his experiences as a chaplain.
“It’s been said that the role of a chaplain is twofold,” he started. “One, to comfort the afflicted, and secondly, to afflict the comfortable. It’s my intent to do both this morning.”
He spoke of recently handling a veteran’s funeral for the veteran’s widow and some of the eye-opening experiences that came with it, like learning the benefits of honorable service for veterans can be lost.
“Honorable military service must be followed by an honorable civilian life to receive final military honors,” he said. He then shared two stories of different burials during his 40-year career as a military chaplain.
He said Veterans Day is about gathering to recognize those who have served, “those who raised their right hand and swore to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
“It wasn’t until after I retired that I realized that my oath as a commissioned Army Officer remains in effect as a member of retired Reserves. Hence my authorization to wear my uniform today,” he continued. “Hence your, my, our requirement as veterans with whether it’s two, 20 or 40 years of service to continue of living a life worthy of our honorable discharge we received upon separation from active service. May we who are veterans accept with humble and heartfelt appreciation the agitation and respect of a grateful nation for our past military service on this Veterans Day.”
Roman then recognized World War II veteran Wayne Lueth, who was in attendance. The American Legion Post 58 presented a rifle salute in honor of fallen comrades, followed by the playing of “Taps.”
“May God bless you, may God bless us. May God bless all U.S. allied veterans. May God bless and protect the United States of America,” Meverden said in a closing prayer.
The Rocky Mountain Brassworks performed two songs and the Broomfield Civic Chorus then sang.
Blake Olson with the Rocky Mountain Chapter Living History Display Group talks to some children about military items that the group has collected as part of Thursday’s Veterans Day ceremony in Broomfield. (Michael Hicks / Editor)
Roman is a Vietnam veteran, and said he was part of the brown-water Navy. As president, he said he’s seen how valuable the museum’s programs are both veterans and the community.
Fellow board member and Army veteran Mike Fellows shared the sentiment.
“It’s just kind of fun because as a veteran, or a veteran’s family comes in you can talk to them,” he said of volunteering at the museum. “And quite often when I see a veteran’s family come in they may go to an exhibit and say, ‘This is what your grandfather did. … Or the younger generation (says) this is what I did, both the mother and father with Afghanistan, Iraq, all of that.”
Museum Honorary board member Roger Beilfuss said he was happy at the event’s turnout.
“It shows that they understand,” he said. “It’s nice to see all the veterans coming in and non-veterans coming in to celebrate.”
Chaplain (Col.) Andy Meverden gives the keynote speech to the crowd out front of the Veterans Memorial Museum in Broomfiled on Thursday. (Michael Hicks / Editor)
Lueth is the guest speaker for this Saturday’s Coffee and Conversation at 10 a.m., the museum’s bimonthly event that allows veterans to share their story. For more information or to view the livestream, visit Broomfieldveterans.org. A full recording of the event can be found on the museum’s Facebook page at facebook.com/broomfieldveterans. The museum is open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.