On this Memorial Day 2017 it is appropriate to celebrate the many memorials created by Montanans to recognize and commemorate the citizen soldiers who have served the armed forces of the United States. I am not adding much commentary because the memorials, both large and small, speak powerfully for themselves, and reflect the best of our values as a nation.
One of my favorite new veterans memorials is in Jordan, one of Montana’s smallest county seats, where memorial statuary and plaques with names of those who served stand proudly in the heart of the town.
Another compelling new memorial, at least it was installed after my historic preservation plan survey of 1984-1985, are these granite slabs, framed by the mountains, at Arlee.
Dillon had significantly expanded its earlier veterans memorial (on the left) along the federal highway into an impressive new city park, the Southwest Montana Veterans Memorial.
Even with the many changes in Ennis, the town has maintained its Veterans Memorial Park as a beautiful public park.
Another change was in Kalispell where the town had significantly expanded an earlier veterans memorial into one of the state’s most impressive monuments, located at the historic start of town on the grounds of the railroad depot.
Another city park with a veterans memorial theme is in Lewistown, where the nuclear missile tells you the role that central Montana still plays in our national defense.
Hamilton’s veterans memorial along U.S. Highway 93 will be a landmark for generations.
There are many more that could be included in this overview but for today I will end with another “new” memorial, at Harlem along U.S. Highway 2. This somber memorial is to a nearby plane crash in 1992 that claimed the lives of thirteen airmen: an event that shook this tiny town, and now will be forever remembered.