Lynching Montana’s History, Part 1

By John O’Connell,

A key feature of human existence is that despite the development of religion, philosophy, and psychology our behavior towards our fellow men and women hasn’t seemed to evolve into something more noble or at the very least something better than what I imagine we exhibited when modern humans first walked the earth. It is so remarkable that the Bible mentions the phenomenon in Ecclesiastes 1:9. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  

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Traditions to Embrace

The Christmas season seems to bring out traditions in our families and in our culture that have been around for years. The following story, which was first printed in the Big Timber Pioneer more than twenty years ago, includes the experiences of several people during World War II. Each person has a connection to Montana and each person has a different perspective. Two of those interviewed have passed away since this article was first published, but their words help us remember what it was like all those years ago when we leaned on our traditions to help us through difficult times.

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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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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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