COLORADO SPRINGS — Col. Victor 'Vic" Fernandez, who spearheaded the effort to create the Pikes Peak National Cemetery, was buried at the site he helped champion on Wednesday.
Fernandez died in September after a long battle with cancer, he was 84 years old.
Fernandez was born in Colorado and raised in Trinidad. He served in the U.S. Army for 30 years. He served two in Vietnam, and also served in two tours in Panama, two in Germany, as well as stateside assignments.
He was the recipient of the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Defense Superior Service Medal, among others.
Following his retirement, he continued to be active in the veteran community.
He was the primary driving force behind the creation of the Pikes Peak National Cemetery in southern Colorado, an effort he dedicated himself to for over 20 years until its opening in 2018.
In a speech Fernandez previously gave, he stressed that a new national cemetery in Colorado was needed since Fort Logan in Denver was nearing capacity. He went on to say that a new veterans cemetery should be established in southern Colorado due to the large military community.
During the service on Wednesday, one speaker said that the beautiful cemetery is "his legacy."
Today, the cemetery covers more than 300 acres and will serve the burial needs of more than 95,000 veterans and their families, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).