MISSOULA — Saturday evening the 19th annual Never Forget Service was held in Missoula at Rose Memorial Garden park.
Seven thousand tiny American flags were placed in the ground in front of the Vietnam Memorial. Donated by the Missoula Exchange Club, the flags represented those that lost their lives on 9/11 and beyond. Members of the club along with Boy Scout troops and Missoula Civil Air Patrol ushered in the event.
Retired firefighter Tom Zeigler read the names of his friends that were firefighters in New York City on 9/11 and died in the Twin Towers. The names of the 13 Marine and Navy active-duty personnel that died in Kabul, Afghanistan last month were also read. The keynote speaker was former U.S. Navy Seal, Montana State Senator, and U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke.
The Missoula Vet Center was at the event to provide information to the veterans in attendance.
"It's twofold mission. It is Suicide Prevention Week, as well as we're honoring those for 9/11. And so we're just out here today trying to connect with veterans and make sure that they know about resources, how to get connected and, you know, really just be there for them where they're at," Anton Johnson, Missoula Vet Center Veterans Outreach Program Specialist, told MTN News.
"Sometimes you can't wait for them to come into your office, sometimes you got to meet them out in the community to let them know what's available," he continued.
Johnson said MTN News the Vet Center offers readjustment counseling at no cost to veterans in the area. To access that service and others, call 406-721-4918.