HELENA – On Thursday the Lewis and Clark County Veterans Memorial Foundation held its traditional Memorial Day Remembrance to honor those who laid down their lives while serving.
Memorial Day was established in 1868 and was originally called Decoration Day.
The observance used to be held on May 30 each year, until 1971 when it was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress.
This year’s keynote speaker was Bob Haseman, who served as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
Haseman said we should honor the young soldiers who fight their hearts out — but tragically do not make it home.
“Our whole country’s existence has depended on their service and sacrifice,” said Haseman.
Since World War II, more than 100 soldiers from Lewis and Clark County have lost their lives serving their country.
Their names are engraved at Memorial Park on Last Chance Gulch to honor that sacrifice.
Master of Ceremonies Bill Woon said it’s important to recognize those soldiers and their families for their service, which can be lost sometimes in the three-day weekend.
“If you get a chance to come down and see these monuments,” said Woon, “between the First Special Service Forces Monument and the Lewis and Clark County Veterans Monument, there are the names of real people who gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today. We can’t forget that.”
-Reported by John Riley/MTN News