Members of the community joined veterans as Memorial Day services were held Sunday and Monday in the North Fork Valley for fallen members of the military.
The Lynch-Cotten American Legion in Crawford marched to the memorial site in the Crawford cemetery.
The service was in honor of those who served their country, dying in war or at home years later.
Two World War II veterans were specifically honored in Crawford. James "Jay" Adam lived on a Fruitland Mesa ranch for many years. In World War II he was a P38 pilot who did 68 photo reconnaissance missions over Europe. After the war, Adam completed six more unofficial missions over Soviet-controlled Europe. During the Korean War he was in charge of a military town for families of soldiers who were overseas. He served as a community pacification coordinator in Vietnam. He was discharged in 1968. Adam died in June of 2011.
Raymond Den Beste taught school in Paonia and Hotchkiss for 42 years. He died December 2011 when he was 93. Den Beste grew up in the Crawford area and was a 1937 graduate of Crawford School. He attended college to become a teacher. In 1942, he was drafted. He spent his war career at an Army Air Base at Alexandria, La. As a member of the Army band he played for military ceremonies, with dance bands and to entertain troops.
U.S. flags given to the widows of Den Beste and Adam were raised during the Crawford ceremonies. There are numerous flags flown at the memorial site, and a number of other flags are held in safekeeping by the American Legion Post in Crawford.
The Black Canyon Veterans of Foreign Wars conducted the Memorial Day service on Monday at the Riverside Cemetery in Hotchkiss. Visiting were Kenneth Hotchkiss and his wife Joy. Hotchkiss served in World War II with the Navy Air Corps. Hotchkiss showed those attending the service a photograph of him and his father Clifford Hotchkiss, who was a World War I veteran, dressed in their uniforms for a Memorial Day parade in Minnesota.
Joy Hotchkiss was going to serve in the Army Reserve as a nurse in World War II, but the war ended before she finished school. "I was glad too," she said.
Kenneth and Joy said they are distant relatives of the founding Hotchkiss Family, perhaps going back 10 generations.
The Wilson-Head American Legion in Paonia conducted four services on Monday. The first was in Somerset followed by one at Cedar Hill Cemetery, the Grand Avenue Bridge and Bethlehem Cemetery.
Commander Jerry LaBounty read aloud the names of those veterans who had lived in the area and died since Memorial Day 2011. They were Tom Hicks, Dale Baldwin, Bill Zediker, Raymond Den Beste, Dick Owens, John Holvoet, Leonard Weiss and Dennis Gibson.
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