When Colorado’s Vets Are Laid To Rest, This Bell Tolls Their Final Tribute

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<p>(Jim Hill/CPR News)</p>
<p>The Honor Bell, forged to honor veterans at their funerals.</p>
Photo: Honor Bell with its founder Louis Olivera
Louis Olivera with the bell he helped create to honor veterans at funerals at Fort Logan and elsewhere.

Veterans' funerals traditionally include a flag presentation and the playing of taps on a bugle. But a veteran in Denver, Louis Olivera, says he was shocked and angry when, several years ago, he went to the funeral of his best friend's father, a World War II veteran, and there was no recognition of his military service. That experience motivated Olivera to create the Honor Bell, a 1,000-pound bronze bell that tolls at servicemembers' funerals.

Olivera spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner, and said he hopes the bell will toll at his own funeral.

"I will be buried at Fort Logan, and I hope that the sound of the bell is the last thing that's heard at my funeral," Olivera said.

Photo: Honor Bell in van
The Honor Bell in the van that transports it to burials and other events to honor veterans.