Veterans honored at wreath laying ceremony


Kalispell wreath laying ceremony

KALISPELL, Mont. - At depot park in downtown Kalispell Saturday morning, emotions were hard to hold back.

"I feel overwhelmed.  I feel encouraged that people still take a moment to honor our military," said Ronalee Skees.

 Dale Rodwick tells us the wreath ceremony is held every year, usually on the second Saturday in December to remind people not to forget about those serving our country.

The civil air patrol has organized the event the past three years, and for Lieutenant Dale Rodwick, it's easy to explain why he does it.

"I have two kids in the program and I'm watching them grow in this program. I have a father, who died about five years ago, and he was World War 2, B24 Pilot in the Pacific, and I'm just honoring him. Honoring my father-in-law and honoring all veterans who served so my kids could serve someday," said Rodwick.

Rodwick says holding such a large event takes a lot of preparation,  and help.

With the help from the community, they were able to lay over 800 wreaths at local cemeteries in honor of veterans.

"The community came out like crazy for this, it was really wonderful to see. We made a plea for help and they came out," said Rodwick

The 800 wreaths are spread throughout Glacier Memorial Gardens and Conrad Cemetery in Kalispell.

Rodwick says with snow covering most cemeteries, veterans who have passed on can be easier to forget, but I'm told there's a different feel to the cemeteries in the Flathead.

"You go up to Glacier and you go to Conrad, it's got life on it right now. It looks pretty neat," said Rodwick

Skees has advice for anyone who encounters a veteran today.

"Officer or any military person that they see... walk up to them and just say "Thank you, thank you for fighting for me,'" said Skees.

The respect and appreciation for the veterans at the ceremony was obvious by the community.

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