BOZEMAN — It’s a few days away from Memorial Day and the American Legion gathered at Sunset Hills Cemetery on Thursday.
“We’re honoring our forefathers graves if you will, that fought before us for this great country,” said Marine Corps veteran Greg Harbac.
Veterans, children, families and everyday citizens were at the cemetery to place flags at the graves of each and every veteran who has passed away. Over 2,500 of them.
“Many of them gave their all for this great country," Harbac said. "There are obviously people here who spent time in the military, they had productive lives after that and passed away. Now, they are here in this cemetery and I think it’s always a good thing to honor them.”
For the veteran’s at the American Legion the turnout at Thursday’s event meant a lot to them.
“It’s a pretty special time to gather with others in this community and it gives us all, especially those of us who’ve served, a moment to thank the community for the way they support us year after year when we do the events this week," said Marine Corps veteran Rick Gale.
For Harbac, it was nice to see people coming together and showing their patriotism.
“It shows how much patriotism there is in our country," he said. "There are days when you look around us you say, ‘this whole place is falling apart.’ You come to an event like this, where this is being done and you realize that this country is full of great people and Bozeman and Montana are full of great people.”
Even the scouts from troop 619 showed up today to help and pay their respects.
“It’s a good opportunity to come out and learn about memorial day and what it means and respect those who’ve gave their lives,” said assistant scout master and Marine Corps veteran Maleesha Kovnesky.
In the end, it was a time for the veterans and the community to come together, but most of all it’s about honoring those who sacrificed everything for the freedoms we are afforded today.
“I think it’s a moment to reflect on those who’ve served," said Gale. "So many people who’ve sacrificed everything.”