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Freedom Flies High on Independence Monument

Fundraiser for Mesa County Search and Rescue Raises American Flag

MESA COUNTY, Colo. - A tradition that is over 100 years old keeps climbing this Independence Day. You can see our patriotism high in the sky all week, by taking a trip to the Colorado National Monument.

Those who raised the American flag on top of Independence Monument said it is a tradition that dates back to John Otto and his legendary hikes in the Colorado National Monument.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office Technical Rescue Team, a division of their Search and Rescue Team, completed their 28th consecutive year of raising the American flag at the very top of Independence Monument.

They brought up 15 climbers in total. Ten of those were team members, and five were guest climbers. Four of those guest climbers were veterans, who say this climb is really something special. "Pay respect to my fellow brothers and sisters that I've served with both in peace time and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as well, some of the sacrifices they gave so we can enjoy this Independence Day," said David Callahan, the director of the Colorado Division of Veteran Affairs West.

The climb is a fundraiser for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team, which will use the money raised to continue protecting us, as we enjoy our public lands.

A new project that is important to many of the people on the climb is called the Western Region OneSource. It is a project that will connect service members, veterans, and their families with service providers and resources, to enhance their opportunities and quality of life.

There will be a groundbreaking ceremony on July 20th at 11 a.m. at the National Guard Readiness Center, located at 2820 Riverside Parkway. The facility is expected to open in January.

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