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Special ceremony honors 9/11 pilots, responders, victims

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Photo by Tamie Meck Standing, from left, retired police officer Lorin Winnett, American Legion Paonia Post 97 Master Sergeant Lonnie Trujillo, Cedaredge Fire Department firefighter Matt Elder, EMT Kyle George, Auxiliary President Loretha Barnes-Rolf, pilo

Lee White does not want the events of Sept. 11, 2001, to be forgotten. To honor the heroes and victims of that fateful day that changed the country forever, White presented a special Color Guard Remembrance Ceremony Sunday morning during the American Legion District #11 fall conference.

White's wife, Sandy White, a member of the Olathe American Legion Auxiliary Unit 24, wrote the script for the ceremony. In it she describes what each of the seven Color Guard members represent:

Carrying the lead rifle from the Paonia Police Department, retired police officer Lorin Winnett represents the New York City and Port Authority officers who lost their lives at Ground Zero.

Carrying the American Flag, Paonia Post 97 Master Sergeant Lonny Trujillo, United States Air Force Retired, represents all military personnel who lost their lives at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va.

Carrying the POW/MIA flag, Cedaredge Fire Department firefighter and Sons of the American Legion Squadron 24 member Matt Elder represents all the courageous firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center and who were running into the burning towers while everyone else was running out.

Carrying the American Legion District 11 flag, EMT Kyle George with St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, who represents all the EMTs and paramedics who lost their lives in New York City.

Carrying the American Legion Department of Colorado District #11 Auxiliary flag, Post 97 Auxiliary President Loretha Barnes-Rolf represents all the civilians who lost their lives in New York City, Arlington, and Shanksville, Pa.

Carrying the Paonia Legion Post 97 flag, retired U.S. Air Force pilot Larry Garrett represents the pilots, crew members and passengers who lost their lives on 9/11.

Carrying the rear rifle from Paonia Post 97, Ernie George, U.S. Army Retired, represents all of the military personnel who were sent to Afghanistan to fight the terrorists that attacked the country on 9/11.

"Ladies and gentlemen," read Lee White, "please keep in mind that 16 years ago we lost 3,000 of our fellow Americans. It is our duty, as Americans and witnesses of this terrible tragedy, that we let no one ever forget... Thank you, and may God bless the United States of America."

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