The latest “Namesake” visit to our State by crew members of the USS Colorado occurred Saturday May 28 through Friday June 3. Originally scheduled to run in the Bolder BOULDER 10K Memorial Day race, their itinerary was greatly expanded due to the enthusiastic outreach of many well-connected citizens.
In remembrance of the Memorial Day weekend, the crew climbed to the roof of the State’s Capitol where they hoisted a Colorado state flag. This flag was then carried to other events as the week progressed. Wreaths were laid at the Battleship USS Colorado BB-45 and USS Grayling Memorials. Then on to Boulder for the 10K run.
On-field stadium recognition grew to include Broncos stadium with the Denver Outlaws, on-field recognition at Coors Field with the Colorado Rockies, on-field recognition at CU Boulder’s Folsom Field, and VIP on-field seating at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation, with President Barack Obama as keynote speaker. This event concluded with a full Air Force Thunderbirds air show.
And as if that was not enough, additional fun events included a cog railroad ride to the top of Pike’s Peak, the inspiration for Katherine Lee Bates’ writing of “America the Beautiful”, and a special tour and recognition at the Denver Mint, which included free “samples”.
A talk to the NJROTC students at Widefield High School, visit to renowned Colorado nature photographer, John Fielder’s gallery and farewell dinner at The Fort, added to the diversity of this trip.
In total the crew completed 17 events and seven media engagements. Positive Navy awareness was generated not only via the media but to the 150,000 fans seated in the various stadium stands.
The visit was busy, fun and inspirational. We of the USS Colorado Commissioning Committee enjoyed hosting the crew and feel the positive Navy awareness generated throughout the Front Range will pay significant dividends as we progress toward the eventual ship’s commissioning in 2017.