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2 years later, flag that survived Marshall Fire is symbol of resilience

2 years later, flag that survived Marshall Fire is symbol of resilience
2 years later, flag that survived Marshall Fire is symbol of resilience 02:19

For 20 years, an American flag flew next to one Superior woman's home in honor of her late husband. Two years ago, it was the only thing on her Colorado property to survive the Marshall Fire

Gladys Forshee and her husband Larry moved to their Superior home in 1970. 

"We was able to buy this place and it was his dream. The four-car garage that was here was in the shape of a barn, it was 50 years old and it was his dream," said Forshee. 

They sunk their roots into Superior. Gladys Forshee served as town clerk and started the volunteer fire department while her husband served in the military. 

Then, in 1992, Larry Forshee passed away. A grieving Gladys put a flag up in their yard in his honor, installing a pole and a light.

"He loved this place," she said.

RELATED: Colorado Marshall Fire victims share their story: "A journey through paralysis and fire"

But on Dec. 30, 2021, the Marshall Fire struck. Gladys Forshee escaped with her dog, and her neighborhood was soon enveloped in flames. 

"The sheriff came down the street on patrol the night of the fire," she said. "He saw the flag flying in the breeze. Smoke was rising from all the embers but the trees didn't burn. The flag and flagpole didn't burn."

Courtesy / Gladys Forshee

The fire destroyed the home she and her husband had shared. All of her belongings were gone. But the flag was untouched, flying intact above the wreckage. Miraculously, it was still lit up the night of the fire.

"The flag survived. We got a flag!" she said. "It's unbelievable. It's just unbelievable."

The last two years have been difficult for her and her town, though.

"The first year was just... I lived but I can't tell you what I did," she said.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, right, consoles Gladys Forshee after she lost her home in the Marshall Fire. Courtesy / Gladys Forshee

But like the flag, the Superior community is unwavering. Neighbors are slowly moving back in.

The flag now sits on display at the Superior Community Center. Gladys Forshee has replaced it with another one. 

RELATED: Marshall Fire survivors continue to struggle 2 years later, Colorado lawmaker plans to help

"I'm 82 years old and it's just time to start a new life I guess," she said.

Gladys Forshee has chosen not to rebuild. But as long as she owns the property, she says the flag will still fly. 

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