Bozeman American Legion hosts annual Memorial Day ceremony

BOZEMAN — On Monday, Bozeman honored its fallen veterans at Sunset Hills Cemetery for Memorial Day.

“This is our special moment, that we can remember those, pray for those and love those that went before us and gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said American Legion Post # 14 Commander Len Albright.

There was also a silent march that went down Main Street. Gabriel Martin, an Army veteran, was one of the participants in the march.

“I remember all the friends I don’t have here and we honor them,” he said.

During the ceremony at Sunset Hills Cemetery, there were a few guest speakers.

“The sacrifices are real and they’re worth acknowledging, they deserve acknowledging and I’m honored to have so many people in my life that were willing to sign on the dotted line and serve the nation at that level,” said veteran and guest speaker Troy Downing.

Senator Steve Daines also spoke. His father, who was in attendance at Monday’s event, is a Marine veteran.

“Staff Sergeant (Travis) Atkins died on June 1, 2007, shielding his fellow soldiers from a terrorist attack by tackling and pinning down a suicide bomber,” Sen. Daines said.

Atkins, a Montana native, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions serving in Iraq in 2007. President Trump awarded him the military’s highest honor in 2019.

“This is the day that we need to remember our fallen heroes because this is not about Veteran’s Day,” said Albright. “That comes in November. This is Memorial Day and this is remembering every single fallen man or woman that served our country.”