The United Veterans Council once again put together an array of Memorial Day ceremonies, with a different twist in 2016.

Council President Susan Campbell Reneau said that because so many of the participants in the ceremonies are from Vietnam, The Korean War and even World War II, that ceremonies in past years have taken their toll on the veterans, so this year, the honor guards and participating veterans boarded a bus provided by Beach Transportation, and are being bused from ceremony to ceremony, starting with breakfast at the VFW Hall on Monday morning, to Caras Park for the first ceremony, to honor those who lost their lives in the U.S. Navy and the U.S, Coast Guard.

Retired Coast Guard Commander Trudy Stoll went down to the river's edge accompanied by a naval officer and dropped bouquets into the river, accompanied by a 21 gun salute and a bugle playing Taps.

"This ceremony is to honor the men and women in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard who have given their lives both in peacetime and during times of war," Stoll said. "It is a wonderful ceremony to attribute the dedication to the people that are still serving, to remember all of our blessings and all of our freedoms that come from the people who gave the ultimate price."

According to Campbell-Reneau, there are ceremonies at eleven locations.  First location for a wreath dedication and toss into the Clark Fork River is at Caras Park was at 10 a.m. followed by wreath and flower dedications at Missoula Courthouse, Fort Missoula Military Cemetery, Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery, Sunset Memorial Cemetery and Gardens, Missoula City Cemetery, St. Mary’s Annex Cemetery, St. Mary’s Cemetery, Rose Memorial Garden Park, with 20 monuments, and the Iraq-Afghanistan Memorial at the University of Montana.

Campbell Reneau said the wreath laying ceremonies should wrap up by around 1 p.m.

Montana Senator Steve Daines also contributed a recorded message honoring Montanans who gave their lives in service to their country.

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