For whom this bell will toll – military and first responders
Co-founders of The Honor Bell Foundation Frank Griggs (board chair) and Louis Olivera (executive director) with Director of Communications Michelle Mallin, who planned and executed the unique fundraiserPhotos by Scottie Taylor Iverson
By Scottie Taylor Iverson
The book Unbroken written by Laura Hillenbrand, who was honored by the local nonprofit Invisible Disabilities Association, was compelling. The Oscar-worthy movie Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, was compelling. The fact that a group of veterans want to pay a fitting tribute to the men and women who have lost their lives or served heroically in defense of our country or our communities is compelling.
According to Director of Communications Michelle Mallin, the film Unbroken was chosen as the fundraiser focus because it would appeal to the veteran and military support community. More importantly, Louis Zamparini’s story so exemplifies the honor and dignity that are the hallmarks of The Honor Bell Foundation’s mission. Mallin, who has a broad background in public relations and event planning, also has a father and stepfather who are both U.S. Army combat veterans. One has a Bronze Star and Purple Heart and the other is a decorated New York City police officer.
Honor Bell Foundation board members Jonathan Beegle and David Fennell (vice chair)
The book and the movie depict the remarkable life of U.S. Olympian and bombardier Louis Zamparini from Torrance, Calif., who was captured by the Japanese and endured horrendous torture. His body was broken, but his spirit was not. Eventually, he fulfilled his dream of being in the Olympics again. He walked in the parade at age 80. In Japan. Louis passed away in May 2014.
Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice deserve a final salute – a graveside tribute that resounds with tradition, dignity, honor and respect. The Honor Bell Foundation is a publicly funded, Colorado-based nonprofit organization that is dedicated to casting a 37”, 990 pound bronze bell to be solemnly tolled at the funerals of fallen heroes, veterans and first responders killed in the line of duty. The bell is scheduled for its first appearance on Memorial Day.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, who is known as the “Veterans’ Veteran” was an appropriate speaker at the fundraiser.Photo courtesy of Collette Susman/ Rustic Knot Photography
Co-founders of The Honor Bell Foundation Frank Griggs and Louis Olivera recently appeared on Military Minutes giving insight into the passion behind the project. Both have extensive business backgrounds and are recipients of the Purple Heart Medal.
Olivera reminded the audience that 1,500-1,800 veterans die in the U.S. every day and cannot always be provided with proper honors. Right here at our own Fort Logan, there are several services per day. There should be a minimum of a six-man detail but with cut backs, today there might be two active-duty participants, a volunteer firing and Taps not even played on a bugle.
The Honor Bell Foundation wants to help with proper acknowledgment and fill in those gaps. In addition, it aims to provide community education and veteran outreach. Major sponsors included Liberty Mutual Insurance for auto, home and life and BBVA Compass.
Just asking for a quote from Liberty Mutual – no obligation nets The Honor Bell Foundation a $10 donation from the company. If opening an account at BBVA Compass and mentioning The Honor Bell Foundation, a $50 donation is made to the foundation. The founders are requesting a massive “spread the word” campaign using all means possible, including social media and encouragement for veterans to become a part of the mission. For further information, visit www.HonorBell.org or cal 720-282-9182.
Honor Guards Doug Mix and Bob Dawes with the replica of the Honor Bell that will weigh half a ton
Jeremy Sellers and Melissa McCusker at major sponsor Liberty Mutual Insurance exhibit
T-shirts come in short sleeve ($20) and long sleeve ($25) with logo on left front and slogan on the back
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