Memorial Day ceremony features senator, mayor

Great Falls Tribune

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester joins Great Falls Mayor Michael Winters and other dignitaries at the Memorial Day presentation at the Veterans Memorial on Monday in Great Falls. The ceremony starts at 2 p.m. at the intersection of River Drive and 25th Street North.

Joe Fletcher will serve as master of ceremonies. The program will begin with a welcoming speech by Gina Winters, the Montana Veterans Memorial Association president.

Chaplain Michael Gilbert will give the invocation.

Great Falls native Mercede Eve will perform the national anthem, and the Young Marines will give the Pledge of Allegiance.

Winters will give special remarks before presenting guest speakers Command Sgt. Maj. William Cooper of the Montana Air National Guard and author Jim Parkinson. Parkinson wrote “Soldier Slaves,” which follows World War II American soldiers seeking restitution from Japanese companies that used them as slave laborers during the war.

The sea bell then will be sounded for each of the fallen soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, the Great Falls Shrine Bagpipe band under pipe Sgt. Jesse Callender will play “Amazing Grace” and the benediction will be given by Pastor Mercedes Hamilton of Union Bethel Church.

Tester will end the ceremony by playing taps.

While he is known more for his farming and political ventures than his musical ones, the junior Montana senator graduated from the College of Great Falls in 1978 with a degree in music.

For more information on Monday’s ceremonies, call 454-9070.