BUTTE – Veterans and community members gathered at the Butte Civic Center on Memorial Day in solemn remembrance of veterans who died in battle.
U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-MT, recognized the sacrifices families of veterans have made.
“I want to thank the families of the fallen that are here with us today, the families of veterans and the families of those who wear the uniform today,” said Gianforte.
Mark Gollinger, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, talked about the friends he served with who died in combat or as a result of their military service. He encouraged all veterans to remember their fallen friends.
“Tell a story about them to keep their memory alive. Might be tough to talk about them, but the truth is all of us want to be remembered for how we lived and not how we died,” said Gollinger.
Marine Veteran of the Korean War Dick Skates remembers those who fought alongside him at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the winter of 1950.
“In the first 24 hours we had 935 wounded Marines on the ground and it was 30-40 below zero weather, so we not only had to fight the Chinese we had to fight the weather too,” said Skates.
For men like Skates, who experienced combat, Memorial Day is a time to remember his fallen comrades, but he says it’s also a time for humanity to remember the awful price of war.
“It’s the saddest thing in the world to think that humanity, from all parts of the world, we have to keep fighting each other to prove our point, whether it’s religion or having to react under a dictatorship or what. Isn’t it too bad we can’t get our right minds in the right place,” said Skates.