Flags On The Avenue for A Fallen Hero: Honor N.P.
“When I woke up the next morning, I looked out the front window,” recalled Leadville resident Brad Palmer, “and I saw nineteen American flags planted in our front yard, one for each of Nick’s nineteen years.”
It was the morning after the Palmers got the horrific, gut-wrenching news that their son, Marine Lance Crpl Nick Palmer had been killed in the line of duty in Fallujah, Iraq.
“I remember grabbing my camera to take a picture of the flags,” Palmer continued with the story. “We were in a daze from the news. I wandered down (about half a block) to the avenue and I saw all those American flags waving on behalf of Nick. It was snowing, and the sun was shining. I’ll never forget that. Never”
And that is why residents and visitors will see the flags out on Leadville’s historic Harrison Avenue today. Because its December 16, the day Lake County commemorates the sacrifice Nick Palmer made for this nation’s freedoms.
In addition, to the flags being flow annually, Palmer is also commemorated on the stretch of Highway 91 between Leadville and Copper Mountain which is also known as the Fallen Heroes Highway. Be sure to make note of the sign and the emergency responders it honors the next time you drive by the big blue billboards on each stretch of that highway.
For those readers who may not know, Nick Palmer graduated from LCHS in 2005 where he played football. After graduation, Nick joined the United States Marine Corps. He was killed in action December 16, 2006 while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq. He was just 19 years old.
Nick’s parents Brad and Rachele Palmer still live in Leadville. Brad is the director of Public Works for Lake County and Rachele works in the Treasurer’s office at the courthouse. Nick’s brother Dustin also lives in Leadville with his family: wife, Jesse, daughters Kylie and Ariana and his son and brother’s namesake Nicklas J. Palmer.