GREAT FALLS - The Montana Veterans Memorial in Great Falls added extensions for their LED lights that will go on their sandstone columns on Saturday.
The memorial is important to all veterans, with names going as far back as the civil war.
Michael Winters, one of the people who spearheaded the creation of the memorial, says that the pillars represent the eternal flame and honor of veterans and those currently serving. Winters says the addition of these lights is just another way to honor those who have served both past and present.
"We're putting extensions on the LED lights that we put on our sandstone columns. American Legion Post gave these columns to the city as an eternal flame, and there hasn't been a light on there for many moons, and so the Montana Veterans Memorial is pleased to bring our community re-lighting of these memorials for veterans not only of the first World War, but of all conflicts and all veterans," he explained.
Montana Veterans Memorial officials emphasize that it is our responsibility to acknowledge the sacrifice and accomplishments of those who gave a part of their youth, or the entirety of their lives for these great States, and that It is our civic duty to remember the past and inspire the future.
"The lights are so important, so very important. It's honoring everyone who signed the bottom line on a check to defend our nation," Winters added.
New solar-powered lights were drilled into the bowl on top of the pillar and will emit a soft glow, forever shining brightly once again. The other restoration is the concrete replacement within the memorial itself.
“The goal is to create a community safe place for remembrance. There's close to 8,000 tiles here. As we gain funds, we try to improve," Winters said.
Since it opened in 2006, the Montana Veterans Memorial has placed more than 7,400 tiles honoring Montana veterans, both living and deceased. About 200 new tiles are added every year before Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
The Montana Veterans Memorial is at 1025 25th Street North in Great Falls. For more information, or if you would like to honor a veteran, click here to visit the website, or call 406-454-9070.