Another successful Memorial Day

veteran’s corner

 Jason Hicks

Thank you everyone for another successful Memorial Day. The weather held off for the most part and we (area veterans groups) were able to conduct all of our ceremonies throughout the Fargo Moorhead area. I simply cannot thank enough the groups of volunteers who help with every aspect of the various ceremonies, without you these things simply would not happen.

One question that is often brought up: 21-gun salute vs 3 round volley.

Today, the U.S. military fires a 21-gun salute in honor of a national flag, the sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the president, ex-presidents and president-elect of the United States. The 21-gun salute is also fired at noon on George Washington’s birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and the day of the funeral of a president, ex-president or president-elect. It is fired from a “gun” aka cannon.

The three-round volley is what you will see at every military funeral. We strive to have a full compliment of rifles (7) thus equaling 21 rounds. However, that number can vary by organization and available members. The three-round volley dates back to the Roman Army tradition of three prayers over the fallen. The volley is fired from a rifle, not a gun.

The National Cemetery hosted its first Memorial Day ceremony after two years of COVID. The event was held at the Maple Sheyenne Lutheran church due to weather concerns. Just another prime reason for the need of a building. It was a great turn out of people in a cramped hot place, but it was nice to see the support. Thank you Maple Sheyenne church. There was an excellent keynote speaker who had an incredible story to tell. Then a long list of politicians and aides, which is normally NOT something the veterans groups allow on Memorial Day. Local customs and norms prevent this as not to make anything regarding Memorial Day political. However this was this groups first year so they probably didn’t fully understand.

Of note there was talk of ‘improvements” such as a vault toilet and wind barriers. If you have ever been to a national park you will know a “vault toilet” is commonly referred to an outhouse. This outhouse and wind screen will cost us tax-payers over $250,000. Your tax money, while we (Fargo Memorial Honor Guard) are actively working to place a permanent building near the National Cemetery with flushing toilets and other conveniences. (More to follow) We have said several times over to the VA and elected officials that an out house is certainly not a thing we want at the National Cemetery however they seem to hear but not listen. I encourage all of you to contact your Federal elected officials and tell them this is not a good plan for our “Arlington National Cemetery” of North Dakota. Keep the outhouses at the National Parks and do better at the National Cemetery in Fargo, as there is already a very dedicated group of veterans who are out there every day conducting ceremonies on these hallowed grounds.

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell

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