Missoula Veterans Day Ceremony celebrates heroes


POSTED: 5:30 PM Nov 11 2012

Missoulians braved the cold Sunday afternoon for a Veterans Day ceremony at the Missoula County Courthouse.

It was the 31st consecutive year that American Legion Post #101 of Missoula has hosted the event. And despite the chilly temperatures, organizers were impressed with the turnout.

“They're warm hearts on a cold day,” said organizer Dan Gallagher.

The theme for this year’s event was “You Don’t Have to Die to Be a Hero.” It was a tribute to all of America’s warriors who’ve survived, as well as those service men and women who’ve passed. Several speakers attended the ceremony, to give their thoughts on the day.

“We're not in this alone, in that when we're in service to each other we are at our best,” said Missoula Mayor John Engen. “And that is part of what's at play today.”

“We have many heroes in Montana,” said Missoula Fourth Judicial District Court Standing Master Brenda Desmond. Desmond is the organizer and coordinator of Missoula’s Veterans Court.

But Sunday, she talked about the importance of giving Veterans jobs. “Let’s honor our veterans by working harder to get them employed,” Desmond said.

Senator Jon Tester also spoke at the event. His message was one of thankfulness. “No words or deeds can fully repay our veterans for the sacrifices that they have made,” said Tester. “But in days like today we're reminded about how important it is to honor that service and to never forget it.”

The Salish-Kootenai Veteran-Warrior Society helped furnish the ceremony’s Honor Guard. They were joined by the Post #101 Flag Detail who placed the Colors to open the ceremony.

Other ceremonies at the vent included the placement of military and veteran memorabilia on an Honor Table. Items included helmets, firearms, boots, and a folded American flag.

Watch the included video for sights and sounds from the event.