MANDAN, N.D. — The 2019 Memorial Day Ceremony will begin at noon Monday, May 27, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, located 6.5 miles south of Mandan on North Dakota Highway 1806. This annual event, hosted by the North Dakota National Guard, honors all deceased American servicemen and women and is free to the public. This year’s theme is “Vietnam – 50 Years Remembered”. The theme is in cooperation with the Department of Defense and the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration.
Participants should arrive early due to anticipated crowds and motorcycle convoy. Lawn chairs are encouraged as seating is limited. Due to the large attendance anticipated and limited parking near the ceremony area, handicap-marked vehicles are encouraged to arrive before 11 a.m. Shuttle vans marked with mounted yellow flashing lights will be available to transport attendees from parking areas to the ceremony. Attendees are encouraged not to drive large vehicles, such as recreational vehicles, campers or tow trailers due to constrained parking.
Individuals not attending the ceremony, but dropping off flowers for Memorial Day grave decorations, should plan to arrive by 10 a.m.
The noon event will be live streamed at youtube.com/NDNationalGuard.
This year’s keynote speaker is retired Brig. Gen. Alan Palmer, formerly of the North Dakota Air National Guard, an organization also known as the Happy Hooligans. The emcee is Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, the senior enlisted leader for the North Dakota National Guard. Their biographies are included in the 2019 Memorial Day program.
Those scheduled to render welcoming remarks are Gov. Doug Burgum, Sen. John Hoeven, and Maj. Gen. Alan S. Dohrmann, N.D. National Guard adjutant general.
Weather permitting, Dr. Dan Van Buskirk will conduct a flyover at about 11:55 a.m. with a 1942 Boeing Stearman followed by a flyover performed by two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters at approximately 12:03 p.m. These aerial displays are salutes to the fallen military members buried at the cemetery and will open the formal program.
The North Dakota Army National Guard’s Fargo-based 188th Army Band’s “Brass Quintet” will perform “Hymn to the Fallen” as well as pre-ceremony music. Also participating in the ceremony are local Veteran and civic organizations and the Bismarck Mounted Police, which will feature a caparisoned riderless horse with boots reversed in the stirrups to symbolize a fallen warrior that can no longer ride into battle.
The national anthem will be performed by Ms. Kayla Wolf with Taps by Mr. Harrison Fuller. Mandan’s American Legion Post #40 and VFW Post #707 will render a rifle-salute volley while the North Dakota National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team executes a 21-gun cannon salute with a World War I-era French 75-millimeter cannon. Pastor Dave Swonger, House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Bismarck; and Chaplain (Capt.) Dellas Herbel, North Dakota Air National Guard; will provide the opening and closing prayers for the ceremony.
Also in conjunction with Memorial Day, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is again hosting a Military Appreciation Day by offering free admission to military members, veterans and their families. This state park is located adjacent to the Veterans cemetery. For additional information, please call 701-667-6340.
In support of the Memorial Day ceremony, the Viet Nam Vets/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club is organizing an Honor Run at “The Shop” (131 Airport Road) in Bismarck. 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. Please arrive with your motorcycle between 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. All motorcyclists and their passengers are invited to participate and no pre-coordination is required.
The North Dakota Veterans Cemetery was established by an act of the 1989 North Dakota Legislative Assembly. The cemetery was opened July 1992, and is operated by the Office of the North Dakota adjutant general.
WHAT: 2019 Memorial Day Ceremony – North Dakota Veterans Cemetery
WHEN: May 27, 2019, at noon
WHERE: North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, 6.5 miles south of Mandan, N.D., on Highway 1806
MEDIA: No pre-coordination required; Bill Prokopyk will be on site 701-220-7277
The North Dakota National Guard is a trained and highly motivated force of about 4,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen. We are always prepared to provide ready units, individuals and equipment in support of our communities, state and nation. Always ready, always there.
Watch live stream at: youtube.com/NDNationalGuard