On Friday, September 13, the City of Centennial is honoring local centenarians prior to National Centenarians Day, which falls on September 22. Four local centenarians will be honored at the event, which will also include Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko. The mayor will open with remarks on how older adults contribute to our city and how they continue contributing to this day. Guests will sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the Centenarians followed by a cake cutting, mingling and a “Secrets to Life” board. The event is free and open to the public and local centenarians are encouraged to be part of the event which will take place at Someren Glen Life Plan Community, 5000 E. Arapahoe Rd., Centennial, 80121.
100-year-old Jim Burghardt, a resident of Holly Creek Life Plan Community in Centennial will be attending the celebration.
Jim has been a resident of Centennial for more than 20 years and moved to Centennial to be closer to his daughter.
In WWII, Jim was Commandant of POW Camp #37, a US Army POW camp based in England that held German POWs. At the same time Jim was overseeing German POWs, Jim’s brother John Burghardt was being held by the Germans at a camp outside Hamburg. John survived the war and the brothers were reunited after the war ended.
According to the Colorado Commission on Aging, approximately 650 Coloradans are 100 years or older. By 2021, that number is expected to jump to more than 1,000. Centenarians are part of the “The Greatest Generation,” a term coined by Tom Brokaw. Many lived through the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 that killed approximately 675,000 Americans. They lived through the Great Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930s and many fought in WWII and supported the war effort. They are living history and our direct link to the past.
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