In Remembrance

Montana’s Secretary of State gives keynote speech at Little Bighorn Battlefield Memorial Day program
Thursday, May 30, 2019
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Photo by Jim Eshleman

Members of American Legion Post 8 and the James Louk Post 7481 VFW honored the fallen in ceremonies at Hardin’s Fairview Cemetery, the bridge crossing the Bighorn River and Little Bighorn Battlefield on Monday. At the Fairview Cemetery, they give a 21-gun salute for all fallen veterans who died defending the United States of America.

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Photo by Jim Eshleman

Montana’s Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, a United States Naval Academy graduate gave the keynote address to the audience at the Little Bighorn Battlefield.


Even though it was windy and chilly, the rain held off for Memorial Day ceremonies that started off in Hardin, traveled to the Bighorn River outside of town and then moved on to the Little Bighorn National Monument in Crow Agency.

Members of American Legion Post 8 and the James Louk Post 7481 Veterans of Foreign War honored the fallen with a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps” at all three locations. Hardin-area musician Ken Boggio played the mournful song on the trumpet.

In Hardin as well as the Bighorn River, Pastor Able Baker of Hardin’s E&R Church gave the invocation and at the Battlefield the Rev. Melinda St. Clair of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Billings led the prayer.

Corey Stapleton, Montana’s Secretary of State and a United States Naval Academy graduate, gave the keynote address at the Battlefield.

Stapleton discussed Benjamin Franklin when Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created.

“A Republic, if you can keep it,” Stapleton told the audience.

Stapleton went on to say that when our founders gave us a Republic it was, on the world stage, a new experience and a form of limited government that had not been seen before. Stapleton went on to talk about sovereignty and the importance of the military to defend that sovereignty.

“What makes us different is that when we went to war we didn’t do it to take something,” he noted, “It wasn’t for property it was for ideals.”

Stapleton discussed the next century and how this world needs to learn to live in peace.

“There is always going to be sacrifice,” he told the audience at the Battlefield, speaking of our military. “Remember, those who are serving now, those who have served and those who have died serving us.”

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