Columbarium Groundbreaking Afterwards
MANDAN, N.D. — The 2023 Memorial Day Ceremony will begin at 12 p.m. (Central Time), Monday, May 29, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, 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 and open to the public. The first observance was held in 1993.
The ceremony will be live streamed at NDGuard.ND.gov and on the North Dakota National Guard Facebook page. It will begin with a flyover performed by two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters at approximately 12:03 p.m.
There will be no Memorial Day program at the Heritage Center, North Dakota capitol grounds. Instead, Veterans organizations will host a gathering for Veterans and their families at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Memorial Day observance, a groundbreaking ceremony will be conducted for a planned 2,240 compartment-niche columbarium at the northeast corner of the cemetery. This facility, scheduled for completion October 2023, is funded by grants from the VA’s National Cemetery Administration and the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery Foundation of $1.86 million and $600,000 respectively. More information about the columbarium is available on the program insert.
As usual, participants are asked to arrive early due to anticipated large crowds and motorcycle honor run. Lawn chairs are encouraged due to limited seating.
Request individuals not attending the ceremony, but dropping off flowers for Memorial Day grave decorations, to clear the parking area near the chapel and leave the facility by 9:30 a.m.
Handicap-marked vehicles are encouraged to arrive before 10:30 a.m. Drivers should ensure handicap credentials and decals are readily visible to parking attendants. Shuttle vehicles will be available to transport attendees from parking areas to the ceremony area. Attendees are encouraged not to drive large vehicles, such as recreational vehicles, campers, or tow trailers due to constrained parking.
Rendering remarks are Gov. Doug Burgum, Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Kevin Cramer, and Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. National Guard adjutant general. The emcee is Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Obrigewitch, N.D. National Guard. The North Dakota Army National Guard’s Fargo-based 188th Army Band Cover Down Brass Ensemble will perform “Hymn to the Fallen” as well as pre-ceremony music. Also participating in the ceremony are local Veteran service and civic organizations.
The national anthem will be performed by Sgt. Gus Tandberg, 188th Army Band, and Taps in Echo will be performed by Century High School students Alex Munson and Spencer Hoskins. Dakota Leathernecks Detachment #1419 will render a rifle-salute volley and the North Dakota National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team will execute a 21-gun cannon salute with a World War I-era French 75-millimeter cannon. Pastor Brandon Vetter, Legacy Methodist Church, Bismarck, and Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Ryan Sarenpa, North Dakota National Guard, will provide the opening and closing prayers, respectively.
In support of this ceremony, the Viet Nam Vets/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club will organize a motorcycle Honor Run at “The Shop” (131 Airport Road) in Bismarck. Participants will leave Bismarck at 11 a.m., head west on Main Street, and 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 and passengers are invited to participate, and no pre-coordination is required. Please arrive at the origin point between 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
Free bus transportation will be available for the public to and from the ceremony.
- Bismarck: Bank of North Dakota parking lot, 1200 Memorial Highway.
- Bus will arrive at 9:30 a.m. and depart at 10:15 a.m.
- Mandan: Dan’s Supermarket parking lot, 500 Burlington Street, SE.
- Two buses will arrive at 9:30 a.m. and depart 10:15 a.m.
In honor of Memorial Day, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park will host 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.
The North Dakota Veterans Cemetery was established by an act of the 1989 North Dakota Legislative Assembly. The cemetery was opened in July 1992 and is operated by the Office of the North Dakota adjutant general.
WHAT: Annual Memorial Day Ceremony and Columbarium Groundbreaking
WHEN: 12:00 p.m., May 29, 2023
WHERE: North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, 6.5 miles south of Mandan, N.D., on Highway 1806
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.