Veterans Day centennial tributes underway in Lewistown

By: 
CHARLIE DENISON
Reporter
Friday, November 2, 2018

American Legion Post Commander Don Bost holds up the Nov. 11, 1918 issue of “The Democrat-News” at the American Legion Wednesday morning. Bost said he is looking forward to celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Armistice Day next Sunday.

Photo by Charlie Denison

At 11:11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, the United States will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the moment World War I (“The Great War”) ended.

“All was quiet on the western front,” said American Legion Post 16 Commander Don Bost. “The war to end all wars ended in Europe. The guns were silent.” 

To commemorate this centennial, Bost is adding some extra tributes to the Veterans Day celebration, which used to be known as Armistice Day until it was changed in 1954.

“We will have a service at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning at Veterans Memorial Park on East Main Street,” Bost said. “We will ring our bell 21 times. They call it the ‘Bells of Peace.’ Usually bells are rung 11 times, but for World War I we ring 21 times.”

“The war had started in July of 1914, but the United States did not enter until April 6, 1917,” Bost said. “Over two million U.S. military soldiers were deployed overseas to the fight. Even though the U.S. was only in the war for 18 months, we had 116,516 who died.”

Following the “Bells of Peace,” Bost and fellow veterans will put on a 10-15 minute ceremony followed by a tribute to those from Central Montana who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War I.

“We will read all 75 names of the locals who got killed in action and ring the bell after each name,” Bost said. 

On Monday, Nov. 12, the celebration will continue, as the Lewistown Junior High School will host a Veterans Day ceremony, featuring key note speaker David Lynch, a Lewistown native and retired U.S. Navy Master Chief.  

Bost said he’s greatly looking forward to these celebrations and is honored to pay tribute to the World War I vets, as well as all the other vets.

“It’s the proudest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Bost, who served in the Navy during Vietnam. “We defend over half of the free world with less than one percent of our population. Everything we enjoy in this country is owed to those who stepped up, whether they were in the front lines or even a cook. Every veteran should be proud of what they did because everything they did was critical to the end result.”

 

Deadline for bronze plaque recognition Jan. 1, 2019

 

Individuals or family members who had someone serve in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are encouraged to get in touch with Don Bost by Jan. 1, 2019 if they would like to have a bronze plaque made.

“We want to honor all who served in the areas of operation during these wars,” Bost said. “For example, if you are a newcomer here, and your father served in the Korean War, you give me his name and it’s going on a plaque.”

Bost said he’s been at this for two years and “has to draw the line sooner or later.”

“We have several permanent bronze plaques ready for production and have a few more names to add, but right now it’s time to start gathering sponsors. We will take multiple sponsors. Please step forward if you’re interested.

“We’ve put a lot of time and dedication into this,” Bost said, “and we can’t wait any longer. We have to proceed with the project.”

Plaques will be placed on a wall at Veterans Memorial Park as part of a renovation project.

On another note, Bost encourages anyone who had a family member killed in action to contact him at and he will get him or her an application for a Gold Star Medallion.

For more information, call Bost at (406) 366-2102.

 

Schedule of Veterans Day events

 

Sunday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m.

Veterans Memorial Park, E. Main Street

 

Monday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m.

Lewistown Junior High School

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