Sunday May 29, 2016: Visiting crew members from the USS Colorado (SSN 788) were honored with the State Adjutant General’s request to have them hoist a Colorado flag from the roof of the State’s Capitol on the occasion of the Memorial Day weekend. This flag was subsequently given to them with the promise that it follow them on their many adventures in the upcoming week.
State Highway Sergeant Shawn Dominguez volunteered his free time to meet and escort the crewmen into the state Capitol, then up to the dome and ultimately onto the roof of the Capitol for the Flag raising ceremony. A Navy veteran himself, Dominguez stated “climbing to the roof of the capitol is NOT for the faint of heart. There are narrow ladders, a hatch and old wooden stairs to get to the base of the flagpole. There are no railings. The ascent can only be accommodated in fair weather.” Luckily the weather was perfect and this heart rendering event went off without a hitch.
The crew members also had the opportunity to visit the Battleship Colorado (BB 45) Memorial on the grounds of the Capitol and lay a wreath in honor of those sailors.
So where did this state flag travel?
While in Colorado the crew members conducted a wreath laying at the USS Colorado BB-45 and USS Grayling Memorials. They were honored on the Field at Broncos stadium for the Denver Outlaws game; CU Boulder’s Folsom Field following the 10K run of the Bolder BOULDER; Coors Field during the Memorial Day Rockies game; the top of Pikes Peak, inspirational source for Zebulon Pike’s America the Beautiful; and at the Air Force Academy during this year’s graduation ceremony.
All Coloradans should be justly proud to have a capitol ship of the United States Navy named after our great State. The last ship to bear the name USS Colorado was highly decorated WWII Battleship, BB-45, commissioned in 1923, over 90 years ago.
Story Navy Denver Public Affairs, Dan Puleio. Photos by Dan Puleio, Bruce Marsden and JJ Mackin