BUTTE – Butte is a town of veterans. Many served in the Vietnam War and some never came back. That’s why Memorial Day is a somber and sacred time.
“They did the ultimate and we miss them and we grieve for them,” said Mike Lawson.
Butte’s Memorial Day ceremony paid tribute to those who died in combat.
The event included words from Sen. Jon Tester who spoke about the legions of Butte people who served this country in foreign conflicts.
“When our nation has been in need, Butte has always been there to answer the call of duty,” Tester said.
Lawson, who served in the Marines during the Vietnam War, said not all Americans at that time appreciated those who served in that war.
“It was very difficult coming back in 1969 flying in to San Francisco and getting stuff thrown at us and being called ‘baby killers,’” Lawson said.
But in the past decades since the end of that unpopular war, people have come to show their admiration for Vietnam veterans.
“It’s nice to know they are finally getting the honor, respect, and gratitude that they should have received when they returned home,” according to David Knight, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
After the ceremony, the Honor Guard visited the cemeteries in Butte to pay homage to the fallen veterans. In fact, one family came out to lay flowers on the grave of their great-grandfather, who was the oldest surviving veteran of the Spanish-American War.
“Well, I think it’s important to remember him all the time, actually, because if they weren’t here, we wouldn’t be here and that’s really important,” said Kari Wilcox Spolar.
Keeping their memory sacred.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News