Missoula Honors the Fallen With Record-Breaking Memorial Day Service
A little known fact about Missoula, Montana is that it has more Memorial Day services than nearly any other municipality. Missoula’s Susan Campbell Reneau often does the groundwork to get these services up and running, and says they are cutting the length of the services back to help some of the older vets.
"Last year, we started the tradition of doing just the wreathe presentations because we have Honor and Color Guards that are from from WWII and Korea and now we have Vietnam veterans in their 70s, so we have had to cut back on the 'hoopdala.'"
There are ten services in all, beginning with a wreath toss in the Clark Fork River to honor those lost at sea.
"We are going to go to Caras Park at 10:00 a.m. for the first wreath presentation, Reneau said. "Then we will go to the Missoula Courthouse where we do a flag dedication at approximately 10:30 a.m. where we will also do a 21-gun salute, technically called the three volley."
After that, the procession will go to the Fort Missoula Cemetery (approximately 11:00 a.m.), the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery (11:30 a.m.), The Sunset Memorial Cemetery (12:45 p.m. includes lunch break), The Missoula City Cemetery (1:30 p.m.), St Mary’s Annex Cemetery (1:45 p.m.), St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery (2:00 p.m.), then Rose Memorial Park (2:30 p.m.) until at last arriving at The University of Montana Afghanistan-Iraq Memorial for a final ceremony at around 3:30 p.m. It’s easy to see from the length of that list why members from the American Legion have noted Missoula as having the most Memorial Day Services in the country.