Contact Us

Missoula’s Memorial Ceremonies [Full Transcript]

flags and graves
Photo courtesy of natural gas/flickr

For those unable to attend all of todays ceremonies, the following transcript should offer at least get a sense of each of today’s tributes. All of the ceremonies were organized and coordinated by volunteer members of the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Ravalli Counties who represent the VFW, American Legion, Elks Lodge, and The Marine Corps League. In honor of all of America’s defenders, thank you.

 

 

 

85th Annual Memorial Day Services – 2012

 

May 28, 2012

Caras Park Memorial Day Service

9:45 a.m.

(Susan Campbell Reneau will line up the honor and color guards at the fish statue and then walk back to the Caras Park overlook before the service starts.)

Bagpipers Bob Phillips and John Haffey, Members of the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band

American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

Montana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider

Keynote Speaker Champ Edmunds

U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern, Chaplain for Missoula’s Memorial Day Services in 2011

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Carmel Finch (Holding Red, White and Blue Wreath)

VFW Post 209 Honor Guard of Missoula

Knights of Columbus Patriotic Order 4th Degree – Patriotic Order (final unit in procession)

Missoula Civil Air Patrol Color Guard (behind all military honor and color guards as civilian group)

At hillside next to Caras Park overlook is Bugles Across America member Elliott Oppenheim of Florence.

9:55 a.m.

Eric Wells (speaks to crowd at Caras Park overlook stage area using microphone BEFORE the service starts.)

This service, as well as all 10 Memorial Day services this Monday, May 30 pays tribute to the men and women of military, police and fire fighter uniform who died in service to their country to keep us free and safe.

Our first Memorial Day service begins in 5 minutes.  Thank you for coming today and please make a donation for a poppy to the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 27 who are walking among you right now handing out programs.  Please come to as many services today that you can.

 

10 a.m. – 10:03 a.m.

(Susan Campbell Reneau raises his arm and hand high to signal to the bagpipers to begin their music that starts the slow walk procession from the fish statue to the overlook by all honor and color guards and Caras Park service participants.  Susan Campbell Reneau stands with Eric Wells at the Caras Park overlook and near the sound system.)

(Bagpipers Bob Phillips and John Haffey from the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band start their music and lead the procession from the fish statue to the Caras Park Lookout at 10 a.m. SHARP.)

10:03 a.m.

(Eric Wells speaks when bagpipers have finished leading the procession to Caras Park overlook stage area.  Honor and Color guards FACE the Clark Fork River with their backs to the audience on the grassy hillsides of Caras Park.)

Pealing off from the procession will be keynote speakers Lt. Col. Joseph Yakawich and Denny Bedard, U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern and U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Carmel Finch holding red, white and blue wreath and will stand behind Eric Wells, facing audience.)

 

10:03 a.m.

Eric Wells

Good Morning!  We welcome you to the first of ten Memorial Day events today involving active-duty military, veterans, and civilians from Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys.

My name is Eric Wells and I am the commander of the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys and a resident of Stevensville, Montana.  I am active in the American Legion, Veteran’s of Foreign Wars and the Order of the Elks.  I served in the First Gulf War and other conflicts with the U.S. Navy throughout my 20-year military career.  I am truly honored to be here today to pay tribute to U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard military personnel who died at sea and to the families that grieve for their deaths.

The United Veteran’s Council provides emergency shelter, food and gasoline to needy veterans and their families throughout the year and delivers food baskets to shut in veterans on Thanksgiving.  At Christmas we give 375 warm pairs of new, warm socks called Santa Socks filled with candies and toilet articles to shut-in veterans living in hospitals, nursing homes and private homes throughout Missoula and Bitterroot nursing homes and assisted living facilities as well as private homes.  We also organize and host all Memorial Day services each year as well as the Never Forget September 11 Service, Flag Day service and Pearl Harbor Day service.  This year we organized Comfort Kits for the Troops on April 17 that sent 770 gallon Zip-Lock bags of comfort items for ALL Montana troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan right now.

The Missoula Fire Department rescue jet ski squad will sail down the Clark Fork River in a few moments and will toss the red, white and blue wreath into the river as part of the ceremony after receiving it from a U.S. Navy Petty Officer Carmel Finch.

10:05 a.m.

(Missoula Rescue boat starts its engines at about 10:15 a.m., headed to the Caras Park overlook stage.  SUSAN RENEAU CALLS RESCUE Water Craft (jet ski) CAPTAIN TROY AULT AT 406-360-8769.)

10:05 a.m.

Eric Wells (stands at podium and microphone)

So you can see everything during this service, I recommend you sit on the brick wall to my right or the Caras Park rolling hills to my left.

Please thank with a round of applause to following men and women:

Bagpipers Bob Phillips and John Haffey, Members of the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band

Bugler Elliott Oppenheim from Bugles Across America, living in Florence

American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

Montana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider

Keynote Speaker Champ Edmunds

U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern, Chaplain for Memorial Day Services Today

U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Carmel Finch at all Memorial Day Services today

John Baugh, National Anthem Singer

Missoula City Fire Department Rescue Jet Vehicles, led by Captain Troy Ault

VFW Post 209 Honor Guard of Missoula

Knights of Columbus Patriotic Order 4th Degree

Missoula Civil Air Patrol Color Guard

Members of the VFW Unit 209 and American Legion Unit 27 Auxiliaries

10:05 – 10:09 a.m.

Susan Campbell Reneau

I ask U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern, chaplain for this Memorial Day this year, to come forward and lead us in an opening prayer.

As Sgt. Redfern makes his way to the microphone, let me tell you a little about this fine young man.

Sgt. Redfern has been deployed twice to Iraq and has been in the U.S. Army for more than nine years.  He joined the U.S. Army shortly after September 11, 2001.  He recently returned from Non-Commissioned Officer School and has received numerous medals for his service.  Sam completed the Warrior Leadership Course in May 2011.  He is a Montana native who is the oldest of 10 children, born in Whitefish and currently living in Missoula near his parents.  In the Army, Sam is a chaplain assistant and a sergeant.  Outside of the Army, Sam serves as a principal for American DreamScapes, LLC and president of the Montana non-profit group called The United States of Hope.  Born in 1977, he is a shining example of the type of volunteers who step forward to serve in all our U.S. military branches of service.

I give you U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern.

(Sgt. Redfern says opening prayer.)

10:09 – 10:10 a.m.

Eric Wells:

Thank you, Sgt. Redfern.

Now please join with me in the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance.

I pledge allegiance, to the Flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, One nation, Under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for All.  Amen.

Susan Campbell Reneau:

And now, I introduce to you a baritone singer from the choir for St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, John Baugh, who will sing for us the National Anthem.  Please remain standing during the singing of our National Anthem and fell free to join with John Baugh in its singing.

10:10 – 10:15 a.m.

Susan Campbell Reneau:

Thank you, John, for that moving rendition of our National Anthem.  John will remain with us throughout the day and we thank him for his dedication to our military men and women.

10:15 a.m. – approximate time based upon flow of service.

(Susan Reneau calls Care Flight to lift off from their home base as Champ Edmonds finishes his speech.  CareFlight coming from Community Medical Center.  Susan calls pilot at 406-471-1892 or dispatch (406) 327-4221 and 327-4726.)

10:15 – 10:20 a.m.

Eric Wells:

Now I call to the podium Champ Edmunds who served in the U.S. Navy for more than 10 years as a navigator nuclear submarines.  He was a 1st Class quartermaster.  He is a graduate of the University of Montana where he earned a B.S. degree in Accounting and Finance and now works for Wells Fargo Bank.  Champ serves in the Montana Legislature as the representative for House District 100.

10:20 to 10:25 a.m.

(Champ speaks for 5 minutes or less.)

10:25 a.m. (approximate time but not until Champ finishes his speech.)

Susan Campbell Reneau

Thank you, Champ Edmunds , for your inspirational words today and your service to our country in the U.S. Navy and the Montana Legislature.

I ask Sgt. Redfern to step forward with the red, white and blue wreath.

(Sgt. Redfern steps forward in front of Eric Wells.)

Joining him is U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Carmel Finch from the U.S. Navy Recruiting Office in Missoula to hand the wreath to a rescue boat fire fighter who will shortly land below us on the shore under the Caras Park overlook.

(Petty Officer First Class Finch sharply steps forward to stand to the right of Sgt. Redfern as Eric Wells introduces Ms. Finch.  Ms. Finch holds the red, white and blue wreath.)

10:25 a.m. – 10:27 a.m.

Eric Wells

This beautiful wreath that Petty Officer First Class Finch holds is one of 27 created by members of the VFW Post 209 Auxiliary that will be placed on memorials throughout the city and county today.  If you join us for all the ceremonies, you will see them all placed at various monuments.

Petty Officer First Class Finch was born in Anchorage, Alaska but was raised in Kalispell, Montana and Arlington, Washington.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Evergreen State College in Washington and eventually became a research assistant for Harborview Medical Center as she did research on burn victims.  In May 2000 Petty Officer Finch became a cryptologist for the U.S. Navy.  She served on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington that was deployed to the New York Harbor on September 12, 2001 following the attacks by terrorists against the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center the day before.

Petty Officer Finch is now Officer Programs Liaison and Navy ROTC Coordinator for the State of Montana for the U.S. Navy until 2013 so she will remain in Missoula to be our wreath holder during Caras Park services on Memorial Day until then, much to our delight!

Susan Campbell Reneau

(speaks until fire fighter arrives in front of Sgt. Redfern and Petty Officer Finch.)

As soon as the Missoula Fire Department Rescue Boat captain arrives in front of Sgt. Redfern and Petty Officer First Class Finch, this wreath will be tossed into the Clark Fork River by the Rescue Boat Captain Troy Ault as a symbol of the men and women of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard who died at sea and to the families of those fallen sailors as an extension of comfort to them for their deep loss.  The VFW Post 209 Honor Guard, under the leadership of George Thayer, will fire a 3-shot volley or as civilians know to be a 21-gun salute.

After the 21-gun salute, the red, white and blue Airmethods helicopter for CareFlight based at Community Medical Center will arrive for a triple circle above the Caras Park overlook stage.

Today the CareFlight crew includes Pilot Fred Mize, Nurse Juanita Haugan and Paramedic Donna Rennaker.  The helicopter went into service in October 2005 and is a 2005 ASTAR B3 with a crew of three that carries one patient in a 150-mile range around Missoula.

CareFlight Pilot Fred Mize (pronounced with long “I” and don’t pronounce the “e”) has been a fixed wing pilot since 1988 and a helicopter pilot since 1991.  Fred has more than 5,000 flight hours as a helicopter pilot and also holds an aircraft mechanic’s license.  He has worked as a pilot for Airmethods at Community Medical Center for the last five years.

Flight Paramedic Donna Rennaker has been an emergency medical technician for 36 years and a paramedic for 11 years.  Donna has served on CareFlight since it first came to Community Medical Center in 2005 and has participated in Memorial Day services many times since then.

Flight Nurse Juanita Haugan is in her 4th year as a nurse for CareFlight and is also qualified as a paramedic.  Prior to her service with CareFlight she was a nurse in ER departments in Great Falls and Havre hospitals.

They will fly overhead as a prayer in honor of the men and women that service in uniform to keep our country safe and free and then will return to their base at Community Medical Center.

Please stand as the final portion of the ceremony takes place.

10:25 a.m. (approximate time)

Eric Wells

Sgt. Redfern, please says prayer to dedicate this wreath.

(Finch holds the wreath as Redfern prays)

(Sgt. Redfern gives a prayer of dedication of this wreath.)

10:26 a.m. – 10:28 a.m. (approximate time)

Eric Wells

Thank you, Sgt. Redfern.

Please wait in silence for the Rescue Boat Captain Ault to arrive and please stand.

(Redfern and Finch stand in silence and at attention and the entire audience and service participants stand in silence as the Rescue Boat arrives and circles in front of the Caras Park overlook stage.)

(Rescue Jet Ski Captain Ault WILL come on shore if the water is low.)

10:22 a.m. (Succession of activity with no speaking)

(Petty Officer Finch receives the wreath from Fire Jet Ski Captain )

(Finch sharply salutes Sgt. Redfern and Sgt. Redfern sharply salutes Finch as she receives the wreath and carries it to the edge of the overlook, waiting for the rescue boat to arrive.)

(Rescue jet ski circles in the Clark Fork River in front of the Caras Park overlook stage THREE TIMES and on the third circle the Rescue Jet Ski Captain Ault tosses the wreath into the Clark Fork River.)

(At the exact moment that the wreaths hit the river, VFW Post 209 Honor Guard sharply fires 3 volleys for a 21-gun salute, under the direction of George Thayer.)

(Audience and service participants remain silent.)

(Silence as the wreaths are tossed, the 3-volley salute takes place, and Care Flight flies overhead – all at the same time.)

10:25 – 10:30 a.m.

(Bagpipers lead honor and color guards from overlook back to fish statues)

(“TAPS” PLAYED by Elliott Oppenheim.)

 

(At the end of “Taps,” Eric Wells speaks as units return to Fish Statue.)

 

Eric Wells:

(Speaks after Taps has played and procession returns to fish statue)

This concludes the first of ten Memorial Day services.  Please join our honor and color guards from this ceremony as we travel to the Missoula County Courthouse for our third event today.  Beach tour bus will take you to the courthouse.  Line-up for honor and color guards is at the World War I Doughboy Statue at 10:45 a.m.   The sound system is provided by the United Veteran’s Council.

Beach Transportation provides the charter bus for all our honor and color guards, free of charge.  Bus driver today is Veteran John Turman who served in the U.S. Army and is a member of American Legion Post 68 here in Missoula.

Missoula County Courthouse Ceremony

10:45 to 11:30 a.m.

(All speakers and honor/color guards line up at the Doughboy Statue at 10: 45 a.m. at the corner of Ryman and Broadway.  Beach bus drops off Caras Park units and civilians at Broadway and Ryman Streets at the Doughboy Statue, too.  Eric Wells plays patriotic music before the service, if time.)

11 a.m.

Susan Campbell Reneau raises her arm and hand signal bagpipers to begin procession.

(Bagpipers Bob Phillips and John Haffey lead honor and color guards to Courthouse Gazebo.)

(Order of Line Up at World War I Doughboy Statue at Ryman and Broadway)

Bagpiper Bob Phillips and John Haffey, Members of the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band

American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern, Chaplain for Memorial Day Services Today

Keynote Speaker U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph Yakawich, ROTC at University of Montana

Army Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan Landon Gomez

Montana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider

Missoula Civil Air Patrol Color Guard

Knight of Columbus 4th Degree Patriotic Order

John Baugh, National Anthem Singer

At flagpole:  Bugler Elliott Oppenheim and VFW Post 209 Honor Guard

11 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.

(Keynote Speakers, Rehberg and Tester representatives, UVC Commander Eric Wells, ALA and VFW Auxiliary Member Susan Reneau, Singer John Baugh, U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern go to Courthouse Gazebo and stand near balcony railing.)

(VFW Post 209 and Bugler stop at the Courthouse flagpole.)

(VFW Post 209 Honor Guard members lower the American flag and raise it to half mast for duration of ceremony.)

Eric Wells:

Hello.  I am Eric Wells, Commander of the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys and active member of the American Legion, VFW and Order of the Elks of Hamilton.  I served in the U.S. Navy in the first Gulf War and other conflicts throughout the world during my 20-year career in the Navy that began during the Vietnam era.  I am a resident of Stevensville.

All ten services today were organized by the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys each year.  Susan Campbell Reneau has been the coordinator of these services since 1998.

Susan Campbell Reneau: (names the participants as they walk to the gazebo area)

As the procession of honor and color guards begin thanks to the leadership of Bagpipers Bob Phillips and John Haffey of the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band, please join me in thanking those in the procession who include:

Bagpiper Bob Phillips and John Haffey, Members of the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band

American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern, Chaplain for Memorial Day Services Today

Keynote Speaker U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joe Yakawich and Army Veteran Landon Gomez

Montana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider

Missoula Civil Air Patrol Color Guard

Knight of Columbus 4th Degree Patriotic Order

John Baugh, National Anthem Singer

At the Flagpole is Bugler Elliott Oppenheim of Florence and the VFW Post 209 Honor Guard.

Eric Wells:

The United Veteran’s Council was founded many decades ago following World War II to help needy veterans with emergency shelter, food, and gasoline.  We deliver food baskets to needy veterans and their family during Thanksgiving and hundreds of Santa Socks at Christmas to shut in veterans around Missoula and the Bitterroot Valleys.   We organize many services but coming up on Flag Day, June 14, we conduct a large flag retirement service and this year it will be on the American Legion property along Tower Street between the Maverick ball field and Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery starting at 7 p.m.  Please come.

We are solely sponsored by private donation and receive no funds from United Way or any other charity.  We thank employees of Missoula County for making regular contributions to our relief efforts through their charity giving as well of individuals like you.

I ask U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern, chaplain for this Memorial Day this year, to come forward and lead us in an opening prayer.  Sgt. Redfern has been deployed twice to Iraq and has been in the U.S. Army for more than ten years.  He joined the U.S. Army shortly after September 11, 2001 and is the recipient of many medals.  Sam is a chaplain assistant and a sergeant in the Army.  Outside of the Army, Sam serves as a principal for American DreamScapes, LLC and president of the Montana non-profit group called The United States of Hope.

(U.S. Army Sgt. Redfern says an opening prayer.)

Eric Wells continues:

Thank you, Sgt. Redfern.

Now, please join me in the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for ever.  Amen.

Please put your hands together right now to welcome Singer John Baugh as he sings the Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem.

(John Baugh sings the first verse of the Star Spangled Banner.)

Susan Campbell Reneau

Thank you, John.  Please welcome representatives from the offices of U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester and U.S. House of Representatives Denny Rehberg.   First we call forward Todd Jackson from Sen. Max Baucus’ office.

(Todd Jackson reads a short letter)

Thank you, Todd.

Now we call forward Deb Frandsen of Senator Tester’s office.

(Deb Frandsen reads a short letter)

Thank you, Deb.

Next we call forward Tom Schultz of Congressman Denny Rehberg’s office

(Tom Schultz reads his short letters)

Thank you, Tom.

This ceremony at the Missoula Courthouse lawn has been going on for 85 years to pay tribute to the men and women that have given their last full measure of devotion to us all. Because of events on September 11, 2001, the United Veteran’s Council added a tribute to the men and women of police and firefighting units since they keep our homeland safe.

Memorial Day was formally organized just after the Civil War.  General John A. Logan as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army declared a day of remembrance for all fallen soldiers on May 30, 1868, so it is on that day that we officially recognize our fallen soldiers, sailors and Marines even though the Monday holiday is now the last Monday in May.

Our ten ceremonies in Missoula on Memorial Day are the largest number of ceremonies organized in one community anywhere in the United States of America!!!! We have all 60 volunteer honor and color guards and individuals so please thank them for this effort.

One hundred and forty-nine years ago this November 19 President Abraham Lincoln rode on a steam engine to a tiny town in Pennsylvania named Gettysburg to pay tribute to the men that died on that battlefield during the Civil War in 1863.

I now read for you the Gettysburg Address.  Say it with me if you have it memorized.

 

 

The Gettysburg Address

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate . . . we cannot consecrate . . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us . . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion . . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain . . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people . . . by the people . . . for the people . . . shall not perish from the earth. ”

11:09 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Eric Wells:

I now want to introduce to you our speaker for today, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph J. Yakawich who is chairman of Military Science and the ROTC program at the University of Montana.

Lt. Col. Yakawich graduated from Butte Central High School in 1982 and as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Montana Tech in 1987 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Engineering.  He also holds a Masters Degree in Management from Webster University of St. Louis, Missouri.  Commissioned as an officer in 1986 into the Armor Corps, Lt. Col. Yakawich has served in a variety of leadership and staff positions from platoon through corps level and has earned numerous awards and medals for his outstanding service in the U.S. Army, including the Bronze Star.

Please give a warm round of applause for Lt. Col. Joseph J. Yakawich.

11:16 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.

(Lt. Col. Yakawich speaks)

(Susan Campbell Reneau calls Care Flight as Lt. Col. Yakawich speaks.  Lift off from their home base at Community Medical Center – Call Pilot Fred Mize at 406-471-1892 or dispatch (406) 327-4221 and 327-4726.)  NOTE TO SUSAN: THIS MIGHT NOT HAPPEN IF CREW BUSY WITH EMERGENCY.

11:20 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.

Eric Wells:

Thank you, Lt. Col. Yakawich for your service to our country as a member of the U.S. Army and the ROTC students at the University of Montana.

I now introduce Landon Gomez who is an Army veteran of the Middle Eastern conflicts who will speak to you about the men and women of the military who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He will also tell us about a new program he began with other Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to help our returning soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen.

Susan Campbell Reneau

Thank you, Landon, for your service to our country and your ongoing service to fellow veterans.

Will the VFW Post 209 Auxiliary and American Legion Post 27 Auxiliary members please come forward to receive three baskets of red, white, and blue flowers donated by Benson’s Farm that has been in existence since 1901 on Reserve and 7th Street?

VFW Auxiliary and American Legion ladies will also carry a special wreath made by the VFW Auxiliary of Unit 209 to place at the base of the World War I Doughboy Station.

We pause in our service to allow the ladies of the American Legion and VFW Auxiliaries to silently walk to the Doughboy Statue.

(Silence as the ladies get back to the Doughboy Statue and place the wreath and bucket of flowers at the base of the World War I Doughboy Statue.)

Eric Wells

Sgt. Sam Redfern, please come forward to say a dedication prayer.

Sgt. Redfern says a prayer at the moment the buckets of flowers and wreath are placed at the base of the Doughboy Statue.)

11:20 a.m.

(OmniCare red, white and blue helicopter flies overhead three times as a prayer to those who have fallen.)

Susan Campbell Reneau

Today the CareFlight crew includes Pilot Fred Mize, Nurse Juanita Haugan and Paramedic Donna Rennaker.  The helicopter went into service in October 2005 and is a 2005 ASTAR B3 with a crew of three that carries one patient in a 150-mile range around Missoula.

CareFlight Pilot Fred Mize (pronounced with long “I” and don’t pronounce the “e”) has been a fixed wing pilot since 1988 and a helicopter pilot since 1991.  Fred has more than 5,000 flight hours as a helicopter pilot and also holds an aircraft mechanic’s license.  He has worked as a pilot for Airmethods at Community Medical Center for the last five years.

Flight Paramedic Donna Rennaker has been an emergency medical technician for 36 years and a paramedic for 11 years.  Donna has served on CareFlight since it first came to Community Medical Center in 2005 and has participated in Memorial Day services many times since then.

Flight Nurse Juanita Haugan is in her 4th year as a nurse for CareFlight and is also qualified as a paramedic.  Prior to her service with CareFlight she was a nurse in ER departments in Great Falls and Havre hospitals.

They will fly overhead as a prayer in honor of the men and women that service in uniform to keep our country safe and free and then will return to their base at Community Medical Center.

Please stand as the final portion of the ceremony takes place.

11:25 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

(Members of VFW Post 209 raise the American Flag to the top of the flag pole following the placement of the flowers and wreath at the Doughboy Statue.)

(VFW Post 209 Honor Guard does a 3-volley salute (commonly known as a 21-gun salute) following the raising of the American Flag.)

11:30 a.m.

Eric Wells:

Bagpipers Bob Phillips and John Haffey, members of Celtic Dragon Pipe Band, will now lead military and civilian honor and color guards from the gazebo area back to the Doughboy Statue as a conclusion to this service.

“Taps” will be played by Florence Bugler Elliott Oppenheim from Bugles Across America.

Eric Wells:

Our honor and color guards will now leave by charter bus to our next services thanks to the generous donation by Beach Transportation.  The baskets of red, white and blue flowers are compliments of Benson’s Farm that was first established in 1900 and has been providing flowers for Memorial Day for years.  These flowers will be planted at the base of the Vietnam Memorial following this service.

Today’s driver is John Turman, a U.S. Army veteran and active member of American Legion Post 68 here in Missoula.

Please join us at the Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery for a service that begins at 12:30 p.m.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, our troops, our military, our police and our firefighters.

Fort Missoula Post Cemetery

Approximately 12 Noon

Short Service

Start time is approximate, based upon the traffic from the Missoula Courthouse to the cemetery.

Participants in the service:

Prayers given by U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern

Service assistance from U.S. Navy U.S. Navy Petty Officer Carmel Finch

VFW Post 209 Honor Guard

American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

Star Spangled Banner Singer John Baugh

VFW and American Legion Auxiliary ladies, led by Susan Campbell Reneau

Taps played by Bugles Across America member Elliott Oppenheim of Florence

General order of service:

Procession of honor and color guards to veteran memorial, led by American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

Opening prayer by U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern

Singing of Star Spangled Banner by John Baugh

Saying of Pledge of Allegiance, led by UVC Commander Eric Wells

Carrying of wreath to veteran monument by VFW and American Legion Auxiliary members

Escort of wreath to monument by U.S. Navy Petty Officer Carmel Finch and members of theMontana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider

Three-volley firing (21-gun salute) by VFW Post 209 Honor Guard

Closing prayer given by Sgt. Redfern

Playing of Taps by Bugler Elliott Oppenheim of Florence.

(Participants go to next service)

Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery

12:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

(Line up of all honor and color guard units at 12:15 p.m. behind the seated audience)

12:30 p.m. Sharp –

(Susan Campbell Reneau comes to podium and raises left arm to signal start of procession, led by Bagpipers John Haffey and Bob Phillips of the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band.)

Susan Campbell Reneau

Please stand as Bagpipers John Haffey and Bob Phillips of the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band lead our American Legion Post 27 Color Guard and the Missoula Civil Air Patrol Color Guard to the flags.  Note that to your right, are the VFW Post 209 Honor Guard and Bugler Elliott Oppenheim.

(All in audience stand in silence as procession takes place.  When color guards post colors and stand at attention, Eric Wells speaks.)

Eric Wells

Welcome on this glorious Montana day in honor of the men and women that have served our nation and given their last full measure of devotion by giving their lives for freedom and safety.  I am the commander of the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys.

Please welcome our Memorial Day Ceremony Chaplain today, U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern who has been active duty for more than nine years when he enlisted just after September 11, 2001.  Sam is the oldest child of 10 children with many Army medals and awards to his name.  He serves as a chaplain assistant in the U.S. Army and has been deployed to Iraq twice.

Sgt. Redfern will present the opening prayer.

(U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern gives prayer)

Thank you, Sgt. Redfern.

Please stand as John Baugh sings our National Anthem.  John is a member of the Patriotic Order of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree and a member of the choir for St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Missoula.

(John Baugh sings the Star Spangled Banner)

Thank you, John.

Please join me in the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for ever.  Amen.

Susan Campbell Reneau

Memorial Day was formally organized just after the Civil War.  General John A. Logan as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army declared a day of remembrance for all fallen soldiers on May 30, 1868, so it is on that day that we officially recognize our fallen soldiers, sailors and Marines even though the Monday holiday is always the last Monday in May.

Missoula has more Memorial Day events and services to pay tribute to men and women in uniform that died for our freedom than any other community in the United States of America and it is because of the dedicated volunteer honor and color guard units that such services happen each year under the leadership of the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys.

Eric Wells

Now we ask the American Legion Color Guard from Post 27, Montana National Guard members, and U.S. Navy Petty Officer Carmel Finch help Ed Sperry dedicate a new addition to the Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery and to carry the wreath to honor those men and women from the military that have died protecting our freedoms.

We open the dedication ceremony with a song from the Rocky Mountainaires, led by John Rettenmayer.

(Rocky Mountainaires sing a patriotic song)

Eric Wells

Thank you, Rocky Mountainaires.  Now I introduce to you Ed Sperry.

(Ed Sperry dedicates a large boulder with a plaque from American Legion.)

(Montana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider and U.S. Navy Petty Officer Carmel Finch

carries wreath to the flag poles)

12:20 p.m.

(Susan Campbell Reneau calls Care Flight to prepare for the fly-over.  Susan Reneau calls Care Flight as the crowd goes to the Korean Memorial for lift off from their home base at Community Medical Center after telling the story about Memorial Day – CALL the pilot at 406-471-1892.  Back up is 406-531-3916 or 327-4726.)  NOTE TO SUSAN:  THIS MIGHT NOT HAPPEN IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY.

Eric Wells

Please welcome our keynote speaker today, Vietnam Navy Veteran Wey Symmes.

I introduce to you a Vietnam veteran and fellow U.S. Navy man, Wey Symmes of Missoula, who helped to raise the money to construct the Vietnam Memorial where we will have a service later today.

Wey was raised in Lewistown and Billings, Montana.  In 1966 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and spent two years aboard the USS Ticonderoga and one year as on a swift boat serving as the Lead Petty Officer (2nd Class Radar Man) in 1968 during the height of the Vietnam conflict.

Wey was honorably discharged in 1970 and married the love of his life, Terry, that same year.

Wey was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation for Extraordinary Heroism, Two Navy Unit Commendations and many other awards.

Wey worked many years as a banker with First Security Bank until his retirement in 1999.

Wey was one of the founders and national treasurer for Swift Boat Veterans & POWs for Truth and the author several books.

Please give a warm round of applause for a true American patriot, Wey Symmes!

(Wey speaks for 5 minutes or less.)

Susan Campbell Reneau:

Thank you, Wey, for your words of inspiration on Memorial Day 2012 at the Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery and your service to our country.

Today we have flying overhead the red, white and blue Airmethods helicopter for CareFlight based at Community Medical Center that includes Pilot Fred Mize, Nurse Juanita Haugan and Paramedic Donna Rennaker.  The helicopter went into service in October 2005 and is a 2005 ASTAR B3 with a crew of three that carries one patient in a 150-mile range around Missoula.

CareFlight Pilot Fred Mize (pronounced with long “I” and don’t pronounce the “e”) has been a fixed wing pilot since 1988 and a helicopter pilot since 1991.  Fred has more than 5,000 flight hours as a helicopter pilot and also holds an aircraft mechanic’s license.  He has worked as a pilot for Airmethods at Community Medical Center for the last five years.

Flight Paramedic Donna Rennaker has been an emergency medical technician for 36 years and a paramedic for 11 years.  Donna has served on CareFlight since it first came to Community Medical Center in 2005 and has participated in Memorial Day services many times since then.

Flight Nurse Juanita Haugan is in her 4th year as a nurse for CareFlight and is also qualified as a paramedic.  Prior to her service with CareFlight she was a nurse in ER departments in Great Falls and Havre hospitals.

They will fly overhead as a prayer in honor of the men and women that service in uniform to keep our country safe and free and then will return to their base at Community Medical Center.

Please stand as the final portion of the ceremony takes place.

VFW Post 209 Honor Guard will conduct the 21-gun firing detail and “Taps” is played by Florence resident Elliott Oppenheim who is a member of Bugles Across America that provides live buglers for veteran services and funerals.

(After flyover, Taps played and followed by 3 volleys, known as the 21-gun salute)

Eric Wells:

Sgt. Redfern, please come forward to say our benediction.  Following that prayer, the Montana National Guard and American Legion Post 27 Color Guard will retire the colors.

(Sgt. Redfern says benediction)

(Celtic Dragon Pipe Band bagpipers Bob Phillips or John Haffey play Amazing Grace and lead American Legion and Missoula Civil Air Patrol Color Guards back to the starting point of the ceremony.)

Eric Wells:

Thank you for coming today and enjoying the beauty of our new Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery.  A special charter bus donated by Beach Transportation will carry out honor and color guards to all remaining cemeteries.  U.S. Army Veteran John Turman is the driver and we appreciate his volunteer time today to take our honor and color guards to all these lovely ceremonies to honor our fallen heroes.

We will now do services at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Missoula City Cemetery, St. Mary’s Catholic Annex Cemetery, St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery and Rose Memorial Garden Park.

Two services at Rose Memorial Garden Park ceremony at 3:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. so please come.

Susan Campbell Reneau

May the true meaning of Memorial Day remain in our hearts and souls today as we reflect upon the sacrifice our men and women in the military have given by dying to keep us free and safe.

God Bless America and God Bless Our Troops.

(Bus of honor and color guards go to various cemeteries for short services)

Short Services

1:15 to 2:45 p.m.

Sunset Memorial Cemetery – lunch and service – approximately 1:15 p.m.

Missoula City Cemetery – approximately 2 p.m.

St. Mary’s Cemetery – approximately 2:20 p.m.

St. Mary’s Annex Cemetery – approximately 2:35 p.m.

Start time is approximate, based upon the traffic from each cemetery.

Participants in the service:

Prayers given by U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern

Service assistance from U.S. Navy U.S. Navy Petty Officer Carmel Finch and Montana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider

VFW Post 209 Honor Guard

American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

Star Spangled Banner Singer John Baugh

United Veteran’s Council Commander Eric Wells

VFW and American Legion Auxiliary ladies, led by Susan Campbell Reneau

United Veteran’s Council Commander Eric Wells leading Pledge of Allegiance

Taps played by Bugles Across America Elliott Oppenheim

General order of service:

Procession of honor and color guards to veteran memorial, led by American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

Opening prayer by U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern

Singing of Star Spangled Banner by John Baugh

Saying of Pledge of Allegiance, led by U.S. Navy Veteran Eric Wells

Escort of wreath to monument by U.S. Navy Petty Officer Carmel Finch

Placement of wreath on veteran memorial by VFW and American Legion Auxiliary Ladies, led by Susan Campbell Reneau

Three-volley firing (21-gun salute) by VFW Post 209 Honor Guard

Closing prayer given by Sgt. Redfern

Playing of Taps by Bugler Elliott Oppenheim of Florence.

 

(Following cemetery short services, bus takes honor and color guards to Rose Memorial Garden Park for final two services)

First Service

Rose Memorial Garden Park

3:15 to 3:45 p.m.

(All speakers, singers and honor/color guards line up at the Korean Memorial at 3 p.m. at Rose Memorial Garden Park on Brooks Avenue.)

2:45 p.m.

Eric Wells sets up music at the Vietnam Memorial.

3 p.m.

(Dean Pond circles Rose Park three times with his motorcycle as a prayer for all those fallen military personnel.  Dean is a Vietnam veteran.)

3p.m. (or when charter bus arrives with honor and color guards)

(Order of Line Up at Korean Memorial)

Bagpipers Bob Phillips and John Haffey, Celtic Dragon Pipe Band

American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

VFW Post 209 Honor Guard (peal off to side of Vietnam Memorial)

Montana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider

U.S. Marine Maj. Jim Shockley of Victor – Keynote speaker

VFW Post 209 and American Legion Auxiliary Members carrying wreaths

Keith Baer – Star Spangled Banner Singer

John Baugh, Singer, Knight of Columbus 4th Degree

Deb Frandsen, Field Representative for U.S. Senator Jon Tester

3:15 p.m. (start of service)

Susan Campbell Reneau (Susan in front of Vietnam Memorial, facing audience)

(Raises left arm and signals honor and color guards to process from Korean Memorial to the Vietnam Memorial in slow walk)

Eric Wells

Today we had circling Rose Memorial Garden Park on a motor cycle is Vietnam veteran Dean Pond of Missoula as a prayer of remembrance for friends of his that died in Vietnam and to all men and women of uniform, be it military, police or fire fighters, who died to keep us safe and free.  Dean Pond and all of us thank them for their sacrifice.

Special thanks are extended to the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 27 and VFW Auxiliary members for collecting donations for poppies and helping us in many ways throughout our Memorial Day services.

3:15 p.m. – 3:17 p.m.

Eric Wells

Good afternoon.  Some of you have been with us all day and for those of you who have joined us, we thank you all for coming to pay tribute to our soldiers, sailors, and Marines that gave their last full measure of devotion.

I want to first recognize the outstanding volunteers who have been with us ALL DAY providing inspirational Memorial Day services.  Keep in mind that many of the members of the veteran honor and color guards are World War II, Korea and Vietnam are in their late 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.  Some of us are much younger and haven’t done today what these more mature Americans have accomplished today.

Please give a round of applause for:

Bagpipers Bob Phillips and John Haffey, Celtic Dragon Pipe Band

American Legion Post 27 Color Guard

VFW Post 209 Honor Guard

Montana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Carmel Finch

U.S. Marine Maj. Jim Shockley, Retire – Keynote Speaker

VFW Post 209 and American Legion Auxiliary Members carrying wreaths

John Baugh, National Anthem Singer, Knight of Columbus 4th Degree

Susan Campbell Reneau, Memorial Day Ceremony Coordinator if the UVC

 

I ask U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern, chaplain for this Memorial Day this year, to come forward and lead us in an opening prayer.  Sgt. Redfern has been deployed twice to Iraq and has been in the U.S. Army for more than ten years.  He joined the U.S. Army shortly after September 11, 2001 and is the recipient of many medals.  Sam is a chaplain assistant and a sergeant in the Army.  Outside of the Army, Sam serves as a principal for American DreamScapes, LLC and president of the Montana non-profit group called The United States of Hope.

 

(Sgt. Redfern says an opening prayer.)

Eric Wells

Please join me in the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance.

I pledge allegiance, to the Flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, One nation, Under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for All.  Amen.

Susan Campbell Reneau

Because of the events on September 11, 2001 when hundreds of police, rescue squad, and firefighters were killed defending innocent citizens in New York City and due to their heroic efforts that likely saved the lives of 25,000 innocent civilians at the Twin Towers, we honor our police and fire departments each Memorial Day for keeping our homeland safe for all.

Welcome to the first of two ceremonies at Rose Memorial Garden Park today.  I am a life member of the VFW and American Legion Auxiliaries and a member of the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Ravalli Counties.

Today’s ten Memorial Day services were organized by members of the United Veterans’ Council of Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys, a task done by UVC since the 1950s.  Prior to that, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 27 organized the service at the Missoula Courthouse.  We’ll hear more about the UVC later in this service.

Please warmly welcome tenor Keith Bair who will lead us in the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

(Keith Baer sings Star Spangled Banner with the crowd.)

3:18 p.m. to 3:19 p.m.

Eric Wells:

Thank you, Keith.

Please join me in the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

Amen.

3:20 p.m. to 3:25 p.m.

Eric Wells

Now I introduce to you U.S. Marine Maj. Jim Shockley.   Maj. Shockley enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 18 in 1963 and was commissioned as an officer in 1969.  He retired as a major in 1988 at age 43.  Jim was shot in Vietnam in July of 1965 while a member of A Company, 3rd Recon as a radio operator on patrol.  He became a reservist starting in August 1966 and completed his law degree at the University of Montana, compliments of the Marines, in 1976.  Jim became a lawyer for the Marines until his retirement in 1988 and has been in private practice in Montana since then.  Jim was elected as the state representative for House District 61 in Ravalli County in 1999 and then became senator for Senate District 45 starting in 2004.

(Jim Shockley speaks)

Susan Campbell Reneau

Thank you, Jim, for your service in the U.S. Marine Corps and in our State Capitol.

I now I ask that U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s Field Representative Deb Frandsen to come forward to say a few words on behalf of Mr. Tester.

(Deb Frandsen reads letter from Senator Tester.)

Eric Wells

Thank you, Deb.

Sgt. Redfern will now say a closing prayer.

(Sgt. Redfern says a prayer.)

3:33 p.m.

Eric Wells

Thank you, Sgt. Redfern. This concludes the first ceremony at Rose Memorial Garden Park.

(Sgt. Redfern says closing prayer and dedication to wreaths)

Eric Wells

I ask the VFW 209 Honor Guard and American Legion 27 Color Guard to relax and sit down as the second ceremony at Rose Memorial Garden Park begins.  Following the placement of wreaths on all the monuments in this park, the VFW Post 209 will conduct a 3-volley firing, commonly known as the 21-gun salute and Taps will be placed by Florence bugler Elliott Oppenheim.  American Legion Post 27 Color Guards will reassemble to return to the Korean Memorial with members of the Civil Air Patrol Color Guard.  The triple flyover by CareFlight will take place following the playing of Taps.

(Honor and color guard members find shade and sit in chairs provided by the United Veteran’s Council and their own units.)

Eric Wells

Our Missoula Civil Air Patrol said they would remain in front of the Vietnam Memorial at attention but our older honor and color guard members need to drink a glass of water and to sit down after a days’ worth of Memorial Day services around Missoula.  God bless you all for your dedicated service to all of us this solemn day of reflection about the men and women of uniform that gave their last full measure of devotion by giving their lives to keep all of us safe and free.

SECOND SERVICE

ROSE MEMORIAL GARDEN PARK

3:40 TO 4:15 P.M.

3:40 P.M.

Susan Campbell Reneau. . .

Ladies of the VFW and American Legion:  Please come forward to the Vietnam Memorial to select a wreath to place at the base of one of the 18 memorials in this park.  Escorting these ladies will be U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfearn, U.S. Navy Carmel Finch and the Montana National Guard, led by Staff Sgt. Daniel T. Schneider who are all active duty military.

A group of us, including some of you in the audience, will place a special wreath at the base of each memorial throughout this beautiful memorial park and U.S. Army Sgt. Sam Redfern will say a prayer at each monument.

While part of us walk Rose Memorial Garden Park, Eric Wells and I will present a short history of Memorial Day and our baritone singer John Baugh will lead us in patriotic songs so please stay a sing along with him if walking for you is impossible.

Auxiliary ladies and members of the audience?  Please take a red, white and blue wreath from this cardboard box to carry to all our Rose Memorial Garden Park monuments.

(Auxiliary ladies and members of the audience receive wreaths from Eric and Susan and begin their slow walk around the park to each monument with escorts.)

(Eric Wells and Susan Reneau speak and John Baugh sings as the crowd starts its slow walk around Rose Park.  Crowd goes clockwise around the park.  The Vietnam Memorial will be the last memorial to receive a red, white and blue wreath.)

Susan Campbell Reneau

All of the beautiful wreaths placed at all of our ceremonies today were lovingly created by the members of the VFW Post 209 Auxiliary.  We thank them for their ongoing support of Memorial Day services.

As a life member of the VFW Auxiliary and the daughter and wife of veterans who lost comrades in battle, I am truly appreciative of the talented women of the VFW Auxiliary Unit 209 that make these patriotic wreaths each Memorial Day.  Thank you, ladies.

Eric Wells

John Baugh will now come forward to sing a short medley of patriotic songs as our crowd places wreaths at the base of memorials.  Following his singing, Susan and I will tell you more about the history of Memorial Day.

3:45 to 3:50 p.m. (5 minutes)

(John Baugh sings a few songs.)

3:50 p.m. -4:05 p.m.

Susan Campbell Reneau:

(reading as the crowd walk around to all the memorials)

Thank you, John, for your inspirational songs.

Memorial Day services began when ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary organized early services at the Missoula Courthouse just after World War I but modern services have been organized by members of the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Ravalli Counties since the 1950s.

The United Veteran’s Council was founded just after World War II to help needy veterans with emergency shelter, food, and gasoline.  We deliver 30 to 50 food baskets for needy veterans during Thanksgiving Turkey Express and warm new pairs of socks filled with candy and toilet articles for Santa Socks at Christmas to elderly, sick and lonely veterans throughout the area.   We also organize services on Pearl Harbor Day, Flag Day and Never Forget September 11 Day.

UVC organized Comfort Kits for the Troops with 51 outstanding volunteers who made 770 comfort kits made from gallon Zip-Lock bags filled with items to use while in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan for all Montana soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen stationed in the Middle East.

We are solely sponsored by private donation and receive no funds from United Way or any other charity.  We thank employees of Missoula County for making regular contributions to our relief efforts through their charity giving as well of individuals like you.

Rose Memorial Garden Park is a very special place because of all the memorials that are here.  We stand before the Vietnam Memorial for a special tribute to those men and women that served so honorably but were not properly honored during that war, including my husband and father.  We pay them tribute now.

As they crowd walks around to each memorial to pay tribute to those that died in service to our country, I will recite the Gettysburg Address and the poem, “In Flander’s Field,” if there is time before the crowd returns to the Vietnam Memorial.

President Abraham Lincoln rode on a steam engine to a tiny town in Pennsylvania named Gettysburg to pay tribute to the men that died by the thousands in that battle and penned on the back of an envelope one of the finest speeches ever given that lasted two minutes.

Listen to the words of a grieving president as he brings comfort to families and binds together a nation that was in turmoil on November 19, 1863, a brief four months after the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

 

The Gettysburg Address

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war . . . testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated . . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate . . . we cannot consecrate . . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth. ”

Eric Wells

Memorial Day was formally organized just after the Civil War.  General John A. Logan as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army declared a day of remembrance for all fallen soldiers on May 30, 1868, so it is on that day that we officially recognize our fallen soldiers and Marines even though the Monday holiday is always the last Monday in May for days off from work.  Please say a prayer on May 30, too, and join us today for our wonderful and thoughtful ceremonies around Missoula, thanks to the efforts of all units assembled today.  Take time to thank the men and women of these units for participating in Memorial Day ceremonies today.

Our ten events and ceremonies in Missoula on Memorial Day are the largest number of organized programs in the entire United States of America on one day.  A total of 60 honor and color guards and individuals are to be thanked for this effort so please thank these dedicated fellow Americans for bringing these services to you, with special thanks to Susan Campbell Reneau for writing the scripts and organizing all the services as an officer of the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys.

Eric Wells continues

I now will read the famous poem, “In Flander’s Field:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead, short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved and now we lie

In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe

To you, from failing hands, we throw

The torch, be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us, who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders Fields.

(Susan Reneau calls CareFlight when crowd reaches the Blue Star Monument at the corner of Brooks and Mount Avenues).    CALL 406-471-1892 or 327-4726.)  NOTE TO SUSAN:  IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY, CARE FLIGHT WON’T COME.

3:37-3:39 p.m.

Susan Campbell Reneau:  (spoken before as red, white and blue helicopter flies overhead as the helicopter is noisy as the crowd almost reaches the Korean War Memorial.)

Today the CareFlight crew includes Pilot Fred Mize, Nurse Juanita Haugan and Paramedic Donna Rennaker.  The helicopter went into service in October 2005 and is a 2005 ASTAR B3 with a crew of three that carries one patient in a 150-mile range around Missoula.

CareFlight Pilot Fred Mize (pronounced with long “I” and don’t pronounce the “e”) has been a fixed wing pilot since 1988 and a helicopter pilot since 1991.  Fred has more than 5,000 flight hours as a helicopter pilot and also holds an aircraft mechanic’s license.  He has worked as a pilot for Airmethods at Community Medical Center for the last five years.

Flight Paramedic Donna Rennaker has been an emergency medical technician for 36 years and a paramedic for 11 years.  Donna has served on CareFlight since it first came to Community Medical Center in 2005 and has participated in Memorial Day services many times since then.

Flight Nurse Juanita Haugan is in her 4th year as a nurse for CareFlight and is also qualified as a paramedic.  Prior to her service with CareFlight she was a nurse in ER departments in Great Falls and Havre hospitals.

They will fly overhead as a prayer in honor of the men and women that service in uniform to keep our country safe and free and then will return to their base at Community Medical Center.

Please stand as the final portion of the ceremony takes place.

As they circle today around us in an aerial prayer, please place your hand over your heart or salute if you are a veteran.

Following the flyover by the red, white and blue helicopter, VFW Post 209 Honor Guard will conduct the 21-gun firing detail and “Taps” is played by Bugles Across America member Elliott Oppenheim of Florence.

3:50 p.m. (time approximate)

(Flyover by Care Flight three times as the crowd and the VFW Auxiliary returns to the Vietnam Memorial for the closing prayer and 21-gun salute by the VFW Post 209 Honor Guard firing detail.)

(Final wreath is placed at the base of the angel at the Vietnam Memorial.)

(When the crowd returns to the Vietnam Memorial, Eric Wells speaks.)

Eric Wells:

Thank you for participating in this special ceremony around Memorial Garden Rose Park.

Please stand at attention and remove your hats as we complete this ceremony with VFW Post 209 Honor Guard fires a 3-volley salute, known to civilians as the 21-gun salute, to all those men and women over the centuries of our country’s history that have died to keep us free followed by the playing of “Taps” by Florence bugler Elliott Oppenheim of Bugles Across America.

Following the playing of TAPS, bagpipers Bob Phillips and John Haffey will lead the American Legion Color Guard and Missoula Civil Air Patrol back to the Korean War Memorial.

Audience!! Please stand in silence as the 3-volley salute and TAPS takes place.

3:57 p.m.

(The 3-VOLLEY salute by VFW Post 209 Honor Guard)

3:57:30 p.m.

(Playing of “Taps” by Elliott Oppenheim.)

(NO ONE MOVES UNTIL TAPS IS FINISHED)

4:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

(Honor and color guards walk slowly from the Vietnam Memorial back to the Korean Memorial where they disband.  Following the honor and color guards are speakers and ceremony participants, including the VFW Post 209 Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary.)

4 p.m.

Eric Wells:

Thank you all for coming and God Bless America!

Enjoy the rest of Memorial Day by reflecting upon what you have heard and seen today during these 10 Memorial Day services, brought to you by the volunteer men and women whose organizations belong to the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys.

THANK YOU, ALL, FOR COMING, AND SEE YOU NEXT YEAR FOR THE 86THMEMORIAL DAY SERVICES.

 

More From News Talk KGVO

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://newstalkkgvo.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on News Talk KGVO Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on News Talk KGVO Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!