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The Independent 7

May 29, 2014

Local veterans: Never forget Memorial Day isn’t just another day off By Jennifer Smith

jsmith It’s not just about the barbecues. That was the message local veterans really wanted visitors to Littleton’s World War II Memorial on May 26 to hear. “Memorial Day is solely for those who died serving in uniform,” said Jack Woodman, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Pat Hannon Post No. 4666. Those people include U.S. Navy Seal Danny Dietz, who graduated from Heritage High School in 1999. Six years later, the Navy Seal and two of his comrades died on a mountaintop in Afghanistan in a gunbattle against Taliban

fighters. The only survivor, Marcus Luttrell, recounts in his book, “Lone Survivor,” the staggering bravery Dietz and the others displayed, never giving up until their last breaths despite being mortally wounded. A movie based on the book was released last Christmas. The portion of South Santa Fe Drive that runs through Littleton is named for Dietz, and a statue memorializes him in Berry Park. Pat Hannon, for whom Littleton’s VFW post is named, is another brave Littletonite, the first to die in World War II. A graduate of St. Mary Catholic School, Hannon was a proud member of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. The rifleman was gunned down in Quang Nam Province on Sept. 3, 1966, exactly a month before he would have turned 20. He drew his last breath the next day.

It is tradition during the Littleton ceremony to read the poem Hannon wrote shortly before his death. It reads, in part: “If my time is here to be, I ask a favor from you to me. Answer my one and only plea, keep America free.” Another proud VFW tradition is selling “Buddy Poppies” to support disabled and needy veterans, and children and spouses who lost their loved ones to war. The poppies symbolize Flanders Fields in Belgium, a World War I battlefield where thousands died. Today it’s a memorial populated by thousands of poppies, a symbol of fallen soldiers. It was named for a poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae of the Canadian Army. “If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields,” he wrote. Pietsch implored those at the ceremony to keep sharing stories of such heroes with their chil-

Morgan Hanlon, left, looks on as her sister Marisa puts a rose on a headstone during the May 26 Memorial Day Ceremony at Littleton Cemetery. Photo by Tom Munds dren, with their grandchildren, so that they might know the sacrifices made by the more than 100 million who have died on the battlefield throughout America’s history. “They didn’t go to war because

they loved fighting,” said Ed Pietsch, commander of the American Legion Post 103. “They felt called to be part of something larger than themselves. … We must always remember that freedom is not free.”

Toll Brothers decides against purchase of Wild Plum Farm By Jennifer Smith The horses roaming the 105-acre Wild Plum Farm property on the south end of Columbine Valley don’t have to pack up their bedrolls just yet, as Toll Brothers’ plan to build homes there seems to have come to a screeching halt. On May 22, Toll Brothers representatives informed town officials that they will not be proceeding with the purchase of the property.

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out it already was in front of the voters, with 51 percent of them in Littleton favoring Amendment 64. “District 2 did vote in favor, and I’m going to represent my district,” he said. But other councilors noted that the amendment allows municipalities to de-

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She told her classmates that while they’ve had a lot of success academically and athletically, their biggest accomplishment was overcoming their fear and reclaiming their school. “I’m excited to get out in the world and show what it means to be a Warrior and what it means to be Warrior Strong,” she said. Principal Natalie Pramenko hit some of the high points of what exactly it does mean: Members of the Class of 2014 were awarded $18 million in scholarships, and they sat for 844 advanced-placement exams. Their dropout rate is less than 1 percent, and they raised more than $12,000 for charity during Warrior Week. A dozen of them are headed into the military. “You showed unwavering leadership

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Tulowitzki or Derek Jeter, and golfers such as Bubba Watson or Tiger Woods, would have been equally as good if they played with the same equipment and competed in the same era as the above-mentioned greats. I say this with confidence because it really isn’t about the equipment, it’s about the player, the talent, the work ethic, and the practice. With a focused approach on effort, practice, and the fundamentals we can all excel in anything we strive for in our personal life, our business, or in our

“Toll Brothers had conducted a number of community meetings to assess the concerns and comments of the residents of the town and were eager to continue working with the community, town staff, planning commission and board of trustees,” reads a statement from JD McCrumb, town manager. “However, while in the process of due diligence, decided that based on the potential costs that could be incurred with their development, decided not to enter into the contract.” “Due diligence” refers to the period of

cide on their own whether to allow retail sales, so banning them would still conform. “We have the opportunity, but certainly not the obligation, to extend retail marijuana licenses on a community-by-community basis,” said Stahlman. While their decision to make a decision was unanimous, their decision on the ordinance is less likely to be so. Staff will bring them a proposed ordinance in the coming weeks, and there will be a public hearing before their final vote.

during this very challenging semester,” Pramenko said. “You have shown us all what it really means to be Warrior Strong. You are special, and I will never, ever forget you.” She introduced Mark Soldier Wolf, the only living elder to have helped cement the school’s relationship in 1993 with his Arapaho tribe on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. The elders decided AHS was a place deserving of their respect and endorsed the school’s “Arapahoe Warrior” mascot, which was designed by Arapaho artist Wilbur Antelope. “I’m so deeply proud of you, because I know the challenges that you’ve faced, and I’m willing to stand on your behalf wherever you go,” he told the graduates. Roche gave voice to the hardest lesson the Class of 2014 had to learn. “If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that life is short and opportunities are fleeting, so we have to seize them while we can,” said Roche.

recreational activities. So even with all the technology and gadgetry available to us, it really isn’t about “what’s new” that works, it is about finding “what works” that works. How about you, do you focus on effort and practice, or do you look for the newest or latest and greatest equipment to up your game? Either way I would love to hear all about it at gotonorton@gmail. com. And I do believe that when our efforts and practice outpace our search for the next new thing, it really will be a better than good week. Michael Norton is a resident of Highlands Ranch, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation and the CEO/founder of

time in which a potential developer assesses the economics of a possible project before making a decision as to whether to enter into a binding contract with the landowner. Toll Brothers never even got to the point of submitting a site plan to the town, so it’s unknown exactly what would have developed if they had gone forward. The land is currently zoned for agricultural use. The town’s master plan recommends no more than one dwelling per acre be built there, though that doesn’t translate to one-

acre lots. JD McCrumb said during a January public meeting that the substantial flood plain that exists and open-space requirements don’t count against the units per acre, they just shift where the homes will be. He reminded the audience that the master plan is a guideline, not a law, and the board of trustees can approve higher density if any project is considered superior, as was the case with Willowcroft.

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Geraldine I. Nieder

Oct 2, 1947 – May 21, 2014

Nieder, Geraldine I., October 2, 1947 – May 21, 2014, Resident of Lakewood and Littleton. Survived by sister Bernadette Lentz (Robert), 5 nieces and nephews, and 9 great nieces and nephews. Services and internment will be held in Chicago, Il. EmlEy

Ellen Emley

Aug. 19, 1928 – May 6, 2014

Ellen Emley, 85, of Littleton, Colorado passed May 6, 2014. Ellen was born August 19, 1928 in Newton, Kansas to the late Oscar and Ella Sutorious. She is preceded in death by husband, Charles Emley who passed in 2000. Survived by children, Bob & wife Pam Emley and Douglas Emley; sister, Barbara Endres; grandson, Alexander Charles Emley; great grandson, Michael Charles Emley. Memorial Service were Wednesday, May 21 at Columbine United Church. Rev. Dr. Steve Poos-Benson officiated.

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