Mission accomplished

Bronze plaques mounted to recognize Lewistown veterans
By: 
CHARLIE DENISON
Reporter
Friday, September 6, 2019
Article Image Alt Text

American Legion Post Commander and Vietnam veteran Don Bost proudly stands by the newly installed bronze plaques at Veterans Park Wednesday afternoon.

Photo by Charlie Denison

Article Image Alt Text

The names of those Central Montanans who fought in the Civil War and are buried in the local cemetery are listed on this plaque, installed at Veteran’s Park Thursday.

Photo by Charlie Denison

After 18 years, Veterans Memorial Park is complete, as bronze plaques are up with the names of Central Montanans who fought for their country.

The names of those from Central Montana who served in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are listed on the plaques, as is a celebratory quote by retired U.S. Col. Albert J. Nahas:

“It mattered not what politicians argued. It mattered not what history would reveal. We had no expectation but to serve where duty called us. We asked for no reward except a nation’s thanks.” 

American Legion Post Commander and Vietnam veteran Don Bost believes this to his core, which is why he’s dedicated himself to giving veterans the respect they deserve, and he wants Veterans Park to honor them accordingly.

With these plaques, Bost feels the goal was accomplished, as do fellow veterans and Legion members.

“These are gorgeous,” said Ted Murray, a Korean War veteran.

Murray said he’s proud to see these names on display and is impressed with all the work that’s been done to make Veterans Memorial Park what it is today. 

“It’s been a long time coming, but, thanks to Don, it’s happened,” Murray said. “If it hadn’t been for him, I don’t think these plaques would be here.”

Bost said he can’t take all the credit, as many have helped out with making this final touch a reality, including sponsors such as Fergus Federal Credit Union, First Bank of Montana, Sons of the American Legion Post 16, the Lewistown Eagles Club, Tom Longshore and Dick Brumley and the Gale and Bret Birdwell family.

Bost said he’s grateful to have the plaques up, as it took a lot of work. Getting all the names was perhaps the biggest challenge.

“It was a big job getting those names,” he said. “Because of the right to privacy you can’t just go to the government and say, ‘I need the names of all the veterans in Lewistown, Montana.’ We’ve been working on this for two and a half to three years, and there are still some we missed because some people didn’t turn them in…there is only so much we can do.”

In hopes of getting as many names as possible, Bost said he tried to get the word out through a plethora of mediums. He also let newly established families have the opportunity to participate.

“People who have moved here and had family that fought in wars were allowed to add names,” Bost said. “I think that’s a fair move.”

All together more than 1,600 veterans’ names are listed.

Bost said he’s proud of this achievement and is pleased to see it finally come to fruition.

“This was originally planned from the day we started the park in 2001,” he said. 

Category:

Poll

Do you think the 2020 census will show that Lewistown is growing or shrinking?