“Some People live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, A veteran doesn’t have that problem” ~Ronald Reagan

By: Jena Donofrio

On May 31st, Memorial Day, the people of Townsend gathered for an event coordinated by the American Legion to honor all the men and women who have lost their lives paying the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. The day started with the Color Guard posting colors and then opening remarks by Commander Jen Dalrymple.

Opening prayer was led by Chaplain Dean Powers and a poem titled “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae was read by the American Legion Auxilliary President, Reba Johnson. John Kougioulis played a rendition of the National Anthem and played the guitar while attendees sang along.

Guthrie Oiestad, an Afghanistan War Veteran spoke of his time overseas and gave a very uplifting perspective of how over the years we’ve “gotten very good at war”. Meaning the number of servicemembers lost from World War I to present has decreased. U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale was also a guest speaker.

Members of the American Legion Color Guard performing a three rifle volley in memory of the fallen.

U.S Representative Matt Rosendale reflects on the Memorial Day event and shares how he is going to continue to fight for the rights of Montana residents.

Roland Heaton was also presented with the Veterans Commendation award for his outstanding community service, and his loyalty and dedication to Townsend. After accepting the well deserved award, he shared how God led him and how the comradery with the citizens and his fellow veterans assisted him on this noble path.

Roland Heaton accepts his award from U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale

After the event, the American Legion provided refreshments in their new banquet hall and members swapped stories about their time in the service.

Editor’s Note: With everything going on in the world for the last 17 months, from Covid to our current administration failing to recognize Memorial day for what it is. It was very refreshing to come together as a community to honor the fallen members of our great country and celebrate those that continue to serve this beautiful town with such pride.

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