DENVER — There's a lot of hard work that goes into maintaining the Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver. It's not just preserving headstones, but also sustaining the site's natural beauty.
That includes the ash trees, that overlook thousands of American service members who gave their lives for our country.
“We have numerous trees out here at Fort Logan National Cemetery," said Edward Bremmer, the site's assistant director. "Whether it be disease or storm, we lose some of those trees.”
Thankfully, the cemetery can rely on one group of volunteers that's dedicated their skills to look after them. One of them is Luke Killoran.
“We work with trees; we plant, we prune. We do everything related to trees," he said. "And we're taking the opportunity to donate those skills to a national cemetery."
He's part of the nonprofit Saluting Branches — they're a group of arborists who volunteer their tree-care services to national cemeteries. And, thanks to Killoran's efforts, their day of service here in Colorado has grown to new heights.
“We are only one site out of over 80 locations across the U.S. and even one in Mexico," Luke said. "And this is the largest of them all."
Killoran's efforts to plan out a full day of landscaping is hard work — and work that's become so meaningful, to so many.
“For me, personally, being a veteran, seeing how much work and energy he's put in, it means so much to me," said Austin Walpole, a manager at Arborscape and participant in the Saluting Branches day of service. "And it was my small way of contributing to be able to give back to him."
It's why we're honoring Killoran as this week's Denver7 Everyday Hero.
“Luke has been doing this since I've been here," said Bremmer. "I've never seen an effort put in like Luke has for running an organization putting it together.”