MONTROSE, Colo. – Over one hundred people gathered at the corner of Main Street and Townsend Avenue in Montrose to commemorate the life of 20 year-old U.S. Marine Rylee McCollum Monday evening – whose mother lives there.
The large-showing illustrates the community’s ability to come together when one of its members needs it most,
“This community comes together in times of crisis; we just pull together because we know these parents that lost this young man are grieving,” explains Montrose pastor Tod Truitt.
Rylee McCollum, who lived in Jackson, Wyoming, was a Lance Corporal with a wife and his first child on the way,
“It’s so unfortunate and such a tragedy that that child is going to grow up not knowing his father, but he will know that his father was a hero,” says Kayla Morgan, the event’s organizer.
The street corner was filled with flags, signs, and candles honoring the U.S. service member and his loved ones left behind, along with 13 balloons still standing to represent all of the soldiers who lost their lives,
“While Rylee McCollum’s passing hit close to home in Montrose, this event commemorates all of the brave men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan,” says KREX5’s Reilly Spence.
Eleven men and two women were among the 13 killed in the Kabul airport bombing.
“Of course like my sign says it’s not just about Rylee it’s about the 13 service members that we tragically lost,” continues Morgan.
Montrose is proof that although 13 lives were lost, multiple communities across the nation are impacted by this tragedy.
In total, the war took the lives of nearly 2,500 Americans and cost $2 trillion.
While America’s longest war has drawn to a close, fundraising and commemoration for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country will continue.
If you would like to donate to McCollum’s family during this challenging time, a GoFundMe account is available.
Here is the link: