Every year at Bozeman’s Memorial Day parade, dozens of Gold Star families are honored on a day when the nation pauses to remember their loved ones who were killed in combat.
“A group that none of them ever wanted to be a part of. None join willingly. Membership was thrust upon them,” said a speaker at the event.
For many, it’s a solemn day, including Jenifer Rovinski- Senecal and Cece Rovinski to remember a husband and a dad.
“It's actually hard for us to come here. And I hope I don't hear of saying this, but it's super important," said Jenifer. “It's my husband, Gary Thomas Rovinski, and he was killed in Iraq in 2006. He had good humor and loved to have fun, that’s what I remember about him."
“A fun dad and just his faith was super important to him and service was was super important to him,” said Cece.
For Veterans and families, it’s a bittersweet day filled with remembrance and reminders of the sacrifices their loved ones made.
“I know the pain and the sacrifice they go through in times of war,” said Paul Kent, US Marine Corps Veteran.
While bells toll and honors are rendered, we remember their sacrifices. For these gold star families, they remember a brother or a daughter, or like Jenifer and Cece, a fun dad and a loving husband.
“Instead of remembering his death, we thought we're going to remember his birthday. So, what we do is we have his favorite meal on his birthday, and that's been a cool tradition,” said Jenifer. “His favorite color was purple and crazy things like that. He loved Peanut butter and jelly. Hey, we can remember what his favorite lunch was, too. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and five Oreos.”
A day when we don’t take things for granted. A day when we live our lives a little more like those who had a great impact on us.
“His legacy. And the Lord. His life had a lot of effect on people, that it just changed their lives knowing him,” said Jenifer.
From all of us, thank you for your service.