BISMARCK, N.D. — The 2011 Memorial Day Ceremony at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery will be conducted at noon, Monday, May 30. This annual event honors all deceased American servicemen and women and is free to the public.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Capt. Robert O. Wefald, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired). The emcee is Command Sgt. Major Daniel Job, senior enlisted leader for the N.D. National Guard. Other scheduled speakers are Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Sen. John Hoeven, and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, adjutant general for the North Dakota National Guard.
Also participating in the ceremony are various local Veterans’ organizations who will post colors. The Bismarck Mounted Police will also carry colors and have a caparisoned riderless horse with boots reversed in the stirrups to symbolize a fallen warrior that will no longer ride into battle.
Other highlights of the ceremony include the national anthem performed by Tyler Tkach and taps played by Dillon Parker and Dan Russell. AMVETS Post #9, Bismarck, will render a rifle salute and the North Dakota Army National Guard Ceremonial cannon crew will fire a 21 gun salute using a World War I era French 75 millimeter cannon. Father James P. Shea, President of the University of Mary, and Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Johnson will present Memorial Day prayers.
The Vietnam Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club and Second Brigade Motorcycle Club are organizing a “motorcycle run” into the cemetery and will carry patriotic flags in honor of the fallen, prisoners of war and those who are missing in action. Motorcyclists will ride from Bismarck to the N.D. Veterans Cemetery just prior to the beginning of the ceremony lining both sides of the cemetery with their motorcycles. All motorcyclists are invited to join the run. To participate, please assemble at “The Shop”, 131 Airport Road in Bismarck by 10 a.m.
Participants should arrive early due to anticipated crowds. Lawn chairs are encouraged due to limited seating. Shuttle vans will be available to help transport people from parking areas to the cemetery.
WHAT: 2011 Memorial Day Ceremony
WHEN: May 30, 2011 at noon
WHERE: North Dakota Veterans’ Cemetery, 6.5 miles south of Mandan, N.D., on Highway 1806
MEDIA: No pre-coordination required; for more information, call Bill Prokopyk at 701-220-7277 or Phil Miller at 701- 220-3086
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,500 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about a dozen North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas while more than 4,000 remain in the state for emergency response and national defense. For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 65 serve in the North Dakota National Guard, a rate that’s more than four times the national average.