COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT, Colo. (KREX) — For the past 32 years the Mesa County Search and Rescue team has scaled Independence Monument to plant an American flag at the top.

This July 4th the Search and Rescue team completed their ascent and set up the flag at around 11:15 A.M.

More than 50 spectators visited the event from the Independence Monument view and stayed for various amounts of time.

Some spectators like Robert Segurola and his family arrived at 9:30 A.M. and stayed through the whole event. “We heard that [Mesa County Search and Rescue] were climbing the Monument to plant the flag and we thought that was an awesome thing to witness.”

The climb of Independence Monument is part a tribute to park Founding Father John Otto and part a celebration of Independence Day. Longtime National Monument volunteer Terri Ahern said that is a combination John Otto would love because he was a very patriotic person.

Otto named aspects of the National Monument such as Independence Monument and Liberty Cap.

The Search and Rescue team started their festive adventure at 6:30 A.M. with a hike on the Independence Monument Trail which led them to the base of the rock pillar.

Many who watched the flag fly on top of Independence Monument took away more than just a festive climb.

“It requires a challenge in overcoming obstacles which I think speaks to our history,” said Segurola, “and it’s a physical activity, it’s good to get outdoors. It’s what we do in Colorado.”

“I think it inspires positivity which I think has been lacking in the past few years,” said Sandra Saverdra.

You can climb Independence Monument too, just make sure you have the correct safety equipment and are prepared for a full day of hiking and climbing.