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Memorial Day ceremony will be conducted on Monday in Great Falls

Michael Winters
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Posted at 10:16 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 13:18:57-04

GREAT FALLS — The Montana Veterans Memorial Association will conduct its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 25, at 2 p.m. at the Montana Veterans Memorial in Great Falls.

This year the observance will also be conducted online to comply with Governor Steve Bullock's directives and Department of Defense guidance to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Winters of the Montana Veterans Memorial Association said, "It's a matter of the way of the situation the world is today and remember the men and women and everybody who has served our nation. It remembers our history and our past. It goes back as far as one nation observing. everybody who has helped, and it's a significant holiday."

A news release says that the online ceremony will feature a welcome from the chairman of the Montana Veterans Memorial Association and Marine Corps veteran, Dwayne Nelson.

The presentation of colors will be done by members of the Malmstrom Air Force Base Honor Guard, followed by an invocation from Air Force Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Heather Bodwell.

Great Falls Symphony member Laura Detrick will sing the "Star Spangled Banner" and three members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 1110 will lead those participating in the ceremony in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Retired Navy Capt. Ken Robison will provide the keynote speech during the Memorial Day event. His speech will focus on a historical perspective of previous crises and how we'll move forward as a nation.

A traditional bagpipe salute will be performed by Great Falls bagpiper Jesse Callendar.

Kathy Austin, chairwoman of the Montana Gold and Blue Star Families Memorial Markers, will provide a Gold Star Marker dedication at the memorial.

Members of the Marine Corps League, Detachment 688 will provide a boots, rifle, and helmet remembrance for those individuals who have died while serving in the military.

To conclude the ceremony, a Charles M. Russell High School trumpet player will sound Taps on his trumpet to honor those service members who have passed.

Attendees will be asked to respect social distancing while visiting the memorial before and after the ceremony.

The public can view a live or delayed video of the ceremony on the Montana Veterans Memorial Facebook page. Video of the event will also be posted following the ceremony online at the Montana Veterans Memorial website at MontanaVeteransMemorial.org.

The memorial was dedicated during a ceremony held on Memorial Day in 2006 and the walls originally displayed tiles bearing the names of 2,774 veterans. More than eighty new tiles will be added to the current 7,237 veterans now honored at the memorial.