UM, Grateful Nation Unveil Fallen Soldier Memorial
More than 600 people joined The University of Montana and Grateful Nation Montana on Nov. 4 to dedicate a campus memorial to Montana troops who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Fallen Soldier Memorial, located along historic Memorial Row near the Lindsay Tennis Center on the northeast side of campus, features five larger-than-life bronze statues by Lincoln artist Rick Rowley. The names of the 40 service members from Montana who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are engraved on granite markers surrounding the memorial.
“This Fallen Solider Memorial will be a grand tribute to the sacrifice of soldiers and the service of all members of our Armed Forces,” said David Bell, Grateful Nation Montana co-founder and a UM alumnus. “It will stand as a source of patriotism and pride for future generations.”
The Fallen Soldier Memorial is a joint project between UM and Grateful Nation Montana. John McCarrick, who taught for several years on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, and Bell established Grateful Nation Montana in 2007 to offer college scholarships and support to children of Montana soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Participating institutions, including UM, provide tutoring and mentoring to eligible students during high school to help prepare them academically and emotionally to succeed in college.
“This memorial honors the memory of those Montanans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, while making an important and powerful addition to our campus,” UM President Royce C. Engstrom said. “It’s fittingly placed near our Memorial Row tree grove, which honors those who gave their lives in service during World War I. David Bell’s contribution is a tremendous act of recognition and respect, and I thank him. ”
The dedication ceremony was part of UM’s Military Reunion held Nov. 3-6. The inaugural reunion was a unique opportunity for UM veterans to reconnect with the University and fellow alumni veterans. It included the Military Appreciation Day observance at the Grizzlies’ home football game, a pregame tailgate, campus and Missoula tours and a social hosted by Engstrom.
More information on Grateful Nation Montana is available at http://www.gratefulnationmontana.com.
To learn about other activities at UM involving military veterans, watch President Engstrom's weekly video update from Nov. 14: