Veterans Day: Over 100 Years of Commemoration and Honor

Dad’s dog tags he wore while serving in Italy and North Africa during World War II in the US Army Air Force. Living and working in Great Falls at the time he left, his father’s address in Stanford is listed on his tags. (O’Connell Photo)

By Kerry O’Connell,

“Thank you for your service.” That is the phrase that comes to mind when you see someone in a military uniform. They are merely words that we are conditioned to say. Are words truly enough? How exactly do we respect our veterans, offer them an understanding of what they went through during their tenure in the military? Veterans Day originated 101 years ago to honor all the men and women who have served and some of us still struggle with a heartfelt way to show appreciation.

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Montanans and the American Revolution

By John Rice, MTSSAR, Don Reed, MTSSAR, and Kerry O’Connell,

Wreaths Across America took place in December of 2019 in the Capital Rotunda. Those in attendance were (from left to right) Don Reed (MTSSAR), Keith Kramlick (MTSSAR), Brigadier General Jeffrey Ireland, Jane Hammond (MTSDAR), Warren Dupuis (MTSSAR), and Doug Fraser (MTSSAR). (Photo courtesy of Shirley Herrin)

One of the joys for us at, is the connections that we make. Connections with those who know history, appreciate history, share history, and research history. We’ve written before about the threads of stories that are woven into Montana’s rich heritage. Many Civil War veterans have stamped their legacy in our stories of vigilantes that helped form the state that we call home.

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The 442nd Regimental Combat Team: “Go For Broke!”

By Kerry O’Connell,

Some of the most fascinating examples of human gallantry and sacrifice are ones that we may never know about. In January of 2020, a friend of mine who happens to be an Asian American, invited me to Three Forks for a memorial dedication. My friend, David Chung, is a Vietnam Veteran and had been invited to speak at the dedication due to his involvement with the Department of Montana Military Order of the Purple Heart (find them on Facebook here:

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Martin Maginnis: Civil War and Montana Connections

by John O’Connell,

When most of us think of Montana connections with our nation’s Civil War I would bet that nothing much comes to mind. After all, we didn’t even become an organized territory until 1864. The Confederate Army didn’t come within a thousand miles of Montana and what Federal troops that were here were preoccupied with chasing the Lakota along the Yellowstone River and in the Powder River country. That’s not to say the Civil War didn’t touch Montana.

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