Montana Veterans Memorial

A tribute to freedom and the sacrifices it requires.

  • At the center of the Montana Veterans Memorial is a warrior angel. He grasps the dog tags of those lost in battle. He stands upon a grindstone, symbolic of evil being crushed. With one arm extended, he releases five doves in honor of the five branches of the U.S. military and in hope that some day they will no longer be needed..
  • A Veteran is defined as any man or woman of any age who has served in any branch of the military of the United States of America in any capacity.

Memorial Day Ceremony Activities Announced

By Eric Peterson, Montana Veterans Memorial Association Secretary

 

GREAT FALLS, Mont.—Noted book authors Tony and Janet Seahorn will serve as guest speakers for the 19th annual Memorial Day Ceremony scheduled to be held at the Montana Veterans Memorial at 2 p.m. on May 27, 2024. The memorial is located at 1025 25th Street North in Great Falls.

         The Seahorns have authored the book, “Tears of a Warrior, a Family’s Story of Combat and Living with PTSD.” The book is a story of courage, valor, and the life-long sacrifice of soldiers who were called to serve their country.

         Tony Seahorn is a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran who served in Vietnam with the Black Lions of the First Infantry Division.  

Janet Seahorn serves as an adjunct professor teaching classes on neuroscience and literacy at Regis University in Denver, Colo., and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

Their book has been endorsed by former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, and was selected as the Military Book of the Year in 2014.

Together, the Seahorns now provide education counseling, team building, and run an outdoor adventure business.

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MEMORIAL

 

To open the ceremony, Montana Veterans Memorial Association President Starnell Darko will welcome guests and participants. Darko is a retired U.S. Army command sergeant major and last served as the sergeant major for the 652nd Regional Support Command (Rear Detachment) located at Fort Harrison, Mont.

Jim “Sarge” Sargent will serve as the master of ceremonies. Sargent is a former Great Falls radio broadcaster and a community volunteer.

Personnel from Malmstrom Air Force Base will return to participate in the annual event held at the memorial. The ceremony invocation will be provided by U.S. Air Force Chaplain (Capt.) Christopher Pitts and members of the Base Honor Guard will present the colors.

This year David Saslov will sing the “Star Spangled Banner,” and youth assigned to local Boy Scout troops will lead the participants in the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

Jesse Callender, a member of the Great Falls Pipe Band and a longtime participant with the Memorial Day Ceremony will play the “Bagpipe Salute.”

U.S. Army veteran and Blackfeet Community College Professor Marvin Weatherwax, Sr. will introduce the Blackfeet Veterans Honor Guard that will provide Blackfeet Nation Warrior Honors during the ceremony.

Patriotic music will be provided by the Great Falls Municipal Band. The musicians will perform the “Armed Forces Medley,” consisting of the six military service songs and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” by George M. Cohan.

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Father Glen Gleaves from the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation will provide the benediction.

To conclude the ceremony, Taps will be sounded by trumpet player Rylan Mauer.

Following the Memorial Day Ceremony, members of the Blackfeet Nation will conduct a blessing at the newly placed Agent Orange Monument located at the Montana Veterans Memorial.

The Seahorns are also scheduled to attend a book signing event to be held at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4669 located in the Black Eagle Community Center from 5 to 7 p.m. on Memorial Day.

For those unable to attend the event in person, the 19th annual Montana Veterans Memorial Memorial Day Ceremony can be viewed on the Montana Veterans Memorial Facebook page and will be broadcast live on 89.9 FM KGPR Great Falls Public Radio.

         For more information on the Montana Veterans Memorial Memorial Day Ceremony, please contact Richard Liebert at wwranch@3rivers.net.

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Veterans Honored
The History of the Montana Veterans Memorial
Montana Veterans Memorial

The History of the Montana Veterans Memorial

This memorial began as a series of conversations with friends, associates and like minded people. As they talked, it became clear that Great Falls and its Military community did not have a Veteran’s memorial dedicated to those serving in the armed forces, past and present. The challenge was compelling. A committee was formed and met twice a month. Trips were made around the state to garner ideas, and there were talks with City Officials. Months and more meetings brought an attorney and architect on board to help with the maze of paperwork. Contractors and local business people stepped forward to offer assistance. The Secretary of the State of Montana recognized the group as a not for profit organization. Officials for Malmstrom Air Force Base took the group step by step to the Pentagon and an official nod given by the Secretary of the Air Force brought three enthusiastic Military units to work on the memorial. The primary construction was completed two days before many of the men and women were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Warrior Angel was placed atop the center pillar to watch over our new friends in active service and in the Guard Units. The citizens of Montana came forward with labor and materials and to date, over eight thousand veterans are honored on the tiles, benches, picnic tables, trees and flag poles. This is a place for visitors to Great Falls to stop, a place to remember our veterans, a place to meditate. This is A Place of Honor.

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