About the Names
Perhaps the most difficult task of the last 13-years has been identifying the veterans who should be honored on the glass panels of the Colorado Freedom Memorial. Seems like it would be easy enough but there's a reason something like this hasn't been tackled before.
At our very first brainstorming meeting we set our criteria for inclusion on the Memorial. Colorado had to be the home of record of the veterans when they entered service and their death must have come from combat action, or wounds suffered in action. We also set the time of statehood as our period covered, or the Spanish-American War through today. This gave us our starting point and we began to look for names. That's when things got tough. In every war America has fought the method of keeping records was different. Technology and society have changed over the years and what was important to know in 1918 didn't apply in 2008. And as records have been transferred from paper, to microfiche, to computer, mistakes have been made and names left off. So, we started our effort to create from county clerk records, Colorado state archive records, Department of Defense records, Newspaper archives and other sources as accurate a record as we could. The result of that effort is before you today, all 5787 names we are confident of.
Is this all of them? Is the Colorado Freedom Memorial 100% accurate? Sadly, the answer is no. It's the most accurate accounting of Colorado veterans killed in action that we know of, but we're certain there are more names to discover. In fact, we have already discovered four names since the Memorial was built and two more Colorado veterans have been killed in the current war on terror. As we turn one chapter with the dedication of the Memorial we know full well our work is just beginning. We have already launched Operation Roll Call with Colorado AARP and History Colorado, asking all Coloradoans to visit www.cfmf.net and search our database to make sure we have good information for fallen heroes you know. If we're missing a name please let us know so we can add it to our granite tablet immediately and move it to the Memorial glass panels next Memorial Day. We'd also love photos and bios of the honorees so we can start telling future generations not only names, but who these heroes were. Soon we'll be convening a panel of military members, historians and Colorado citizens to review names that have been submitted for consideration to be added to the Colorado Freedom Memorial. It is our intention to keep searching and researching until the day we can stand in front of this monument and say... there they ALL are!