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6,218 luminarias lit at Colorado Freedom Memorial to honor Coloradans killed in action

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Posted at 10:28 PM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 00:36:07-05

AURORA, Colo. — On Veterans Day in Aurora, 6,218 luminarias glowed in the dark night, each representing a Coloradan who was killed in action.

Over the next three nights, the luminarias will be lit in their honor.

"Tonight is an opportunity to teach about that sacrifice... to say, as we approach the holidays, there's families without their loved ones," said Rick Crandall with the Colorado Freedom Memorial.

About 300 volunteers will help maintain the “Light Their Way Home” display for its 6th year.

“They all have different reasons. I think some of them feel that they owe a little debt to the folks that gave their lives," Crandall said.

"I'm a veteran, and I love my country," said Tild Szelkowski, one of the volunteers.

Democratic U.S. Congressman Jason Crow, a former U.S. Army Ranger, attended the Veterans Day ceremony.

“Veterans Day brings a variety of different emotions. It is somber in some ways, happy in some ways," Crow said.

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman was also in attendance "to recognize the men and women who have served, and who continue to serve."

Crandall says to see the amount of luminarias is a reminder of what a big debt of gratitude that we owe to our veterans.

"There were others that paid a bigger price,” Crandall said. “We can never forget that, and we will always be grateful for that."

The display will be in place Nov. 11-13 from 5 - 8 p.m. each evening on the grounds of the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora.