BUTTE — It was an unusually beautiful day in Butte for such a somber event as many gathered at Stodden Park to remember those who fell in battle on Memorial Day 202`1.
“I can’t remember a Memorial Day quite like this, the sun is shining on us for a great reason today and I just want to thank you, enjoy your weekend, but remember why we’re all here,” said Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher.
The reason was to honor those who died while in the service of this nation and several spoke about the sacrifices they made in the name of freedom.
District Judge Robert Whalen talked about a new veterans court starting in Butte that will help veterans who survived their service and need help getting their lives back together.
“Perhaps the best way to honor the memory of those who died in service to our country is to serve the men and women who return. In the words of Jennifer Grandholm, ‘we honor the dead best by treating the living well'," said Whalen.
Sen. Jon Tester honored Butte World War II veteran Pete Gotland, who died in January, by playing taps during the ceremony. It was something Godtland did at every Memorial Day Ceremony for decades.
“On this day, you can’t take over for Pete, I’ll just tell you that, you try to fill his shoes but he’s legendary when it comes to Taps,” said Tester.
Pete Godtland’s daughter said she was grateful her father was remembered during the ceremony and he would have enjoyed being here today, a ceremony that he faithfully attended every year.
“This is like the first year without him, so, you know, we really miss him. It was really nice of Jon Tester to mention Pete Gotland,” said Faith Dewaay.