MANDAN, N.D. — The 2012 Memorial Day Ceremony at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery will begin at noon, Monday, May 28. This annual event honors all deceased American servicemen and women and is free to the public. The theme is “Educate America” and will feature educators as keynote speaker and emcee. The cemetery is located 6.5 miles south of Mandan on North Dakota Highway 1806.
Participants should arrive early due to anticipated crowds. Lawn chairs are encouraged due to limited seating. Shuttle vans will be available to transport people from parking areas to the ceremony.
This year’s keynote speaker is retired U.S. Air Force officer Dr. Larry Skogen, president of Bismarck State College. The emcee is Capt. Ryan Kaufman, commander of the North Dakota National Guard’s 957th Engineer Company (Multi-Role Bridge) and a history teacher at Bismarck’s Century High School. Other scheduled speakers are Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Sen. John Hoeven, Rep. Rick Berg and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, adjutant general for the North Dakota National Guard.
The North Dakota National Guard’s Fargo-based 188th Army Band "Brass Quintet” will perform “Amazing Grace” as well as pre-ceremony music. Also participating in the ceremony are local Veteran 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.
The national anthem will be performed by Sgt. DeAnn Fylling and Spc. Tracy Houle, 188th Army Band and the Sioux Echo Drum Group will perform the “Flag Song”. Taps in Echo will be played by Dillon Parker and Dan Russell. Bismarck’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1326 will render a rifle salute and the North Dakota National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team will fire a salute using a World War I era French 75 millimeter cannon. Rev. Randall Upgren, Charity Lutheran Church, and Chaplain (Maj.) Leo Moenkedick, North Dakota Air National Guard will present Memorial Day prayers. After the formal portion of the ceremony concludes, the Sioux Echo Drum Group will perform “The Honor Song”, honoring all American fallen service members.
The Viet Nam Vets / Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club along with the Second Brigade Motorcycle Club are organizing a Memorial Day “Motorcycle Honor Ride” to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery honoring all fallen American Service members, prisoners of war and those who are missing in action. Participants will leave Bismarck at 11 a.m., head west on Main Street, cross the Liberty Memorial Bridge to Mandan’s Memorial Highway. After turning west on Mandan’s 3rd Street SE, the motorcyclists will head south on North Dakota Highway 1806 until they reach the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. All motorcyclists are invited to join the run and no pre-coordination is required. To participate in the motorcycle run, please assemble at “The Shop”, 131 Airport Road in Bismarck by 10:45 a.m. Ride organizers will be on site by 10 a.m.
WHAT: 2012 Memorial Day Ceremony – North Dakota Veterans Cemetery
WHEN: May 28, 2012 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 701-333-2129
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized nearly 3,900 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. About 70 percent of all members serving today have joined since that time. Currently, nearly 400 North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas while about 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.
2012 Memorial Day Program (pdf format)