Have you visited the Colorado Freedom Memorial yet? This memorial is located near Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. Dedicated in 2013, it honors Colorado veterans of all wars who were killed or are missing in action. There are over 6000 names etched on glass panels, the names of those killed in action since Colorado became a state. Many of the soldiers memorialized here never returned home, so their families didn’t even have a place to visit until this memorial was created.
Designed by Kristoffer Kenton, it is constructed of 12 foot sheets of glass that reflect Colorado’s mountains and skies. It’s also an abstract representation of our mountains. The glass panels are slanted at different angles to convey the sense of instability that those fighting for our country may have felt, as well as replicating the tectonic appearance of the mountains themselves. One glass panel is set back from the main wall and on that panel are listed the names of Coloradoans missing in action.
The names are grouped by war, but are not alphabetized, to allow for the addition of new names. Until recently, visitors used a plastic covered notebook nearby to find the location of a particular name. There is now a computer kiosk on site to assist in that process.
Work continues today on the Colorado Freedom Memorial. With each conflict, techniques for record keeping change. Volunteers continue to research databases and family records to look for additional Coloradoans killed in action. Two hundred names have since been discovered and there are plans for an additional glass panel to be added to the memorial at a future date.