To the Editor: Doug Harbour’s Letter of Appreciation



I want to thank the citizens of Prowers County and the folks up and down the front range for the most rewarding adventure called the Tri-State 9/11 Tribute journey!  For the last eleven years we have upheld a commitment to thank our 1st Responders and military for their unselfish service to our country and community.  Each of these heroes have made a personal sacrifice and accepted the risk of the unknown.

Harbour at 2021 Tribute

Now that “Father Time” has unofficially forced retirement upon me, I want to acknowledge the outstanding support from the Prowers County Commissioners, the City of Lamar and the public.  So very many of you have ownership in the memorial we have built and the hallowed day of remembrance we observe on the Saturday closest to September 11th every year.  From the kids in the marching bands, first responders that spit polish their trucks or the many businesses that have donated their time and material, I thank you.

Many beautiful memories have accumulated over the years.  Watching a tear slide down a 97 year old Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant’s face while the Alta Vista 3rd Graders played “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”; The hushed, hallowed silence in the grandstand as precious folded flags were presented to mothers and wives of fallen 1st responders and Veterans; The solemn magnificence of looking through children’s eyes at the meaning of 9/11 as shown in their artwork, hung in the Hall of Honor.  These are just a few of the experiences that have made this journey so worthwhile.

Memorial Miniature

At the conclusion of one of our early parades, a young Sergeant from Fort Carson, that was in charge of their mounted Color Guard, asked if I could give him a ride back to the staging area to pick up his truck and horse trailer.  On the way he told me that they usually marched in parades in large cities.  There, folks mostly sat in lawn chairs on the curb and would wave as we went by.  In Lamar, he said, “A block before we got even with them, people would all stand up and put their hand over their heart”!  He added:  And “Every kid was waving a flag.  Sir, can we come back?”

Thanks to Clay Peacock and Cassie Esparza for pulling that little wagon and handing out all those hundreds of flags!!

I would also like to thank my wife, Linda, for the hundreds of hours answering emails, filling our IRS forms and a most reliable council!  We have also had great committee members on the Annual Tri-State 9-11 Tribute Foundation and Board of Directors: Claudia, Kim, Jim, Louie, Albert, Jared, Toni, Gary, Mary, Christy, Phil, and Melita, pat yourselves on the back.  You guys rock!

Flag Display at Memorial Site

It was your commitment and dedication that made our event grow bigger and better every year.

God Bless, God Speed,
Semper Fidelis
Doug Harbour

Filed Under: Letters to the Editor


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