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Honoring our heroes: 10th Mountain Division Memorial Day ceremony at Tennessee Pass

May 22, 2024, 8:52 am

The 10th Mountain Division Foundation recently issued the following press release on its annual 10th Mountain Division Memorial Day Ceremony to be held Monday at the War Memorial on top of Tennessee Pass:

On Monday, May 27, 2024, the 66th Annual 10th Mountain Division Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at the War Memorial on the top of Tennessee Pass, Colorado. 

Just half a mile from Ski Cooper, Colorado, 10th Mountain Division active and veteran soldiers, descendants, military partners from all branches, local communities and friends of the  Division will gather to honor those 10th Mountain Division and 99th Battalion comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives in combat.

Gen. Stephen J. Townsend

The WWII “men of the mountain” did their advanced ski training in the 1940s at Ski Cooper when it was known as Cooper Hill. Open to the public, this Colorado Memorial Day the 10th Mountain Division Foundation is honored to have General Stephen J. Townsend (RT) as its Keynote speaker. Retired from the U.S. Army in 2022 with over 40 years of service in the U.S. armed forces. He led U.S. Africa Command from July 2019 to August 2022.

U.S. AFRICOM is one of six all-service geographic combatant commands reporting to the U.S. President and Secretary of Defense and is responsible for all U.S. military personnel, resources, operations and activities to protect and advance U.S. national interests across the continent of Africa. Prior to AFRICOM, General Townsend commanded U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command where he was responsible to the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Army for all recruitment, individual training, education and leader development, and development of concepts and doctrine to ready the Army for the challenges of the future.

His career includes leadership positions in light, airborne, air assault, Stryker and Ranger infantry units in the Army’s fast deploying, high readiness formations. He has commanded troops at every echelon from a 40-soldier rifle platoon to the 15,000-soldier 10th Mountain Division and the 92,000-soldier XVIII Airborne Corps, as well as two combined/multi-national joint task forces during operations overseas. His higher-level war-fighting commands include 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, the 3-2 Stryker Brigade, the 10th Mountain Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps—the U.S. Army’s crisis response force. His past joint-duty assignments include service at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Central Command, the Joint Staff, Regional Command-East in Afghanistan and Combined/Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. General Townsend’s experience includes combat and operational deployments to Grenada, Panama, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. In 2016-17, he commanded Operation Inherent Resolve, the 70- nation coalition mission to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. During this time, General Townsend led the liberation from ISIS’s grip of northern Iraq including Mosul, the largest city held by ISIS, most of northern Syria, and launched the assault to liberate Raqqah, the caliphate’s capital. Townsend’s education includes a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and numerous leadership courses by the Army and Department of Defense.

The 66th  Annual 10th Mountain Division Memorial Day Ceremony 

Location: Summit of Tennessee Pass on US Highway 24, 

between Leadville and Minturn, Colorado, at the 10th Mountain Division Monument.

Gathering: 9:30-11 a.m. Gathering with donuts and coffee served.

Ceremony start time: 11 a.m.

Luncheon: Lunch will be available at Ski Cooper following the ceremony. 

Cost is $20 payable at the event.  Ski Cooper Address: 232 CR 29, Leadville, CO 80461

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