Is Missoula the most patriotic city in America? It's a hard question to get a quantifiable answer to, but by at least one standard, Missoula appears to be making a bid for that title. On Monday, May 25, Missoula will celebrate it's 88th Memorial Day with 11 different Memorial services. That's right, 11 different services.

"I didn't even realize this until the editor for the American Legion National Magazine called me," said Missoula Memorial Day Organizer Susan Campbell Reneau. "He said, 'when you sent me the press release for what you were doing in Missoula, I was struck that you're community has more Memorial Day services in one day, then anywhere else in the United States of America.'"

It's difficult to compare and contrasts the events going on in every city in the U.S. on Memorial Day, but the folks at the American Legion probably have a pretty good idea where Montana ranks.

Below is a list of all of Missoula's Memorial Day Ceremonies for May 25, 2015, courtesy of the United Veteran’s Council of Missoula and Ravalli Counties

  • 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Caras Park Memorial Day Service

Wreath toss into Clark Fork River by Missoula City Fire Department Rescue Boat Crew. U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Rund as wreath presenter. Honor and color guards. 21-gun salute (9:45 a.m. lineup for honor and color guards at fish statue. Service starts at 10 a.m. at overlook).

  • 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Missoula County Courthouse Ceremony

Keynote Speaker U.S. Army National Guard Capt. Aaron Flint, Wreath placements at WWI monument. 21-gun salute(10:45 a.m. - Honor and Color Guards line up at WWI Doughboy Statue with service at 11 a.m. at Courthouse steps facing Broadway Street).

  • 12 Noon (approximate time)

Fort Missoula Military Cemetery

Honor and Color guards. Wreath placements at base of Ole Beck Monument. 21-gun salute.

  • 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery

Dedicated to five local World War II Veterans and ALL World War II veterans that have died. Keynote Speakers U.S. Senator Steve Daines and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph Yakawich, Retired. Triple flyover by St. Patrick Hospital’s MedStar helicopter. 21-gun salute and formal dedication of Avenue of Flags(12:15 p.m. - Lineup of honor and color guards at sidewalk behind chairs. Service starts at 12:30 p.m).

  • 1:15 to 2 p.m. (approximate time)

Sunset Memorial – lunch and break

Honor and color guards. Wreath placement. New flag dedication at flag pole. 21-gun salute (Lunch and rest. Service when units finish lunch).

  • 2:15 to 3 p.m. (approximate time)

Missoula City Cemetery – veteran memorial, St. Mary’s Annex Cemetery - statue, St. Mary’s Cemetery – veteran memorial

Honor and color guards. Wreath placements at veteran monuments. Single gun volley at each service.

  • 3:15 to 4 p.m.

Rose Memorial Garden Park – TWO SERVICES

Vietnam Veteran Keynote Speaker Wey Symmes. Honor and color guards, 18 wreath placements on park monuments. Line up at Korean Memorial at 3 p.m. with slow walk to Vietnam Memorial at 3 to 3:40 p.m. – first service. Walk to all memorials in park, starting at Vietnam Memorial at 3:45 to 4:15 p.m. – second service.

  • 5 to 5:30 p.m.

University of Montana Iraq-Afghanistan “Fallen Soldier Memorial”

Honor and color guards. Placement of flowers and wreaths at base of monument. 21-gun salute.

 

All services organized and hosted by United Veterans Council of Missoula and Ravalli Counties. Bus for honor and color guards provided by Beach Transportation. Bagpiper John Haffey of Celtic Dragon Pipe Band. Ceremony chaplain U.S. Army Sgt. Samuel Redfern. Music by Elliott Oppenheim and his Trillium Brass Trio of the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys. Baskets of red, white and blue flowers provided by Benson’s Farm – planted at Vietnam Memorial after services. Wreaths provided for all ceremonies by United Veterans Council of Missoula and Ravalli Counties. Wreaths created by members of Grizzly Peak, DAR and posts and auxiliaries of VFW and American Legion. Three volleys (known as 21-gun salutes) by VFW Post 209. Color guards of American Legion Post 27, Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Patriotic Order, Missoula Civil Air Patrol, Missoula City Police Department, Boy Scouts of America, Missoula City Fire Department Jet Ski Rescue Squad.

Any questions about the events, schedules, or volunteer involvement can be directed to Susan Campbell Reneau at 406-251-5116 OR bluemountain@montana.com.