“Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time; they have the heart.” Elizabeth Andrew’s words capture the spirit of so many people in Southeast Colorado. They give their hearts to the communities of our region. We are proud to provide some much deserved recognition to those people that dedicate so much to the people and places of our area. We welcome your nominations for the Community State Bank of Lamar and Springfield COMMUNITY CHAMPION.
CONGRATULATIONS TO DOUG HARBOUR OF LAMAR!
Doug Harbour was awarded our August Community State Bank Community Champion. Doug has spent
countless hours honoring our region's first responders and our nation's military as the chief organizer
for the Tri-State 9-11 Tribute held each September in Lamar. He is also largely responsible for the
beautiful memorial and flag display at Big Timbers Museum along Highway 50.
The following is the text of an article from the Pueblo Chieftain by Jon Pompia that captures why Doug
Harbour is our Community Champion:
On the strength of Doug Harbour’s passion, Lamar has emerged as the epicenter of 9/11 memorial tributes
in the Southwest. About eight years ago, Harbour, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, was looking for
a way to honor those lost in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 while paying tribute to the armed forces, and
veterans, whose sacrifices have served as the foundation of freedom.
As first responders played a critical role in the aftermath of the attacks, Harbour made it a point that they be included in the tribute. And what began as a humble but heartfelt gathering of a few hundred patriotic Lamar residents on the steps of the county courthouse has flowered into the Tri-State 9/11 Tribute, which in its eighth year is expected to once again draw thousands of people to the Southeastern Colorado hamlet of 7,600 on Sept. 7.
“From the start, I wanted to make Lamar the ‘Sturgis of 9/11 tributes,’” said Harbour, who formed the Tri-State 9/11 Tribute Foundation to grow the event. “But more than that, I wanted to be sure that first responders be included, along with veterans and active duty military.
“Day in and day out, our first responders deal with as much horrific things as we did while in combat in Vietnam.” This year, Harbour said the tribute will shine a special spotlight on “families of the fallen” — those who have lost first responders and military personnel in the line of duty — not necessarily in combat — since Sept. 11, 2001.
“We will honor these families through a flag-folding ceremony in a military funeral style format,” Harbour said. “There also will be a 21-gun salute from 75 mm Howitzers coming down from Fort Carson.” The day will kick off at 10 a.m. with a parade through Lamar and onto the Prowers County Fairgrounds. Serving as grand marshal will be Milford “Bud” Rasmussen, a 100-year-old veteran of World War II. The procession, which last year was viewed by an estimated 4,000 spectators, has grown in scope from a handful of entries into a patriotic ribbon miles in length. “It ran about two hours last year,” Harbour said, with representation from Fort Carson, law enforcement and corrections, veterans and civic organizations, biker groups, businesses and musicians. "And more entries are always welcome,” Harbour said. At the fairgrounds, the formal tribute will be complemented by a flag retirement ceremony, barbecue lunch free to all first responders and armed forces members past and present, and other activities.
In conjunction with the tribute, a memorial — three-panel wall of honor, flagpole and retaining wall — has been constructed on the outskirts of Lamar to, in Harbour’s words, “honor all our heroes, past and present, both military and first responders.” To date, plaques containing the names of 100 men and women have been placed upon the memorial, with space for hundreds more. For a $50 contribution to the Tri-State 9/11 Tribute Foundation, a small plate can be inscribed and made part of the memorial, which like the tribute itself has become a popular attraction.
At a young age, Harbour learned the meaning of patriotism from his father, an ace World War II fighter pilot with five confirmed and eight probable kills.
After serving in the Marines during the Vietnam War, Harbour returned home determined to pass on that love of country, and appreciation for those who serve it, to the younger generations. “We want to make sure kids know about and remember 9/11, which I consider a ‘modern-day Pearl Harbor,’” Harbour said. “It’s important that no one forgets that, or the sacrifices many have made for their country and community.”
Harbour and the foundation encourages those who have lost loved ones in service to country or community to be a part of this year’s tribute. He also is extending an invitation to parade entrants and attendees for the tribute itself. “We’d love to have a strong showing from Pueblo and the surrounding area,” he said.
For more information on the tribute or the wall of honor memorial, call 691-0959 or 688-3857, or write email@example.com.