By Ross Markman
Amid the men and women clad in their Navy whites, Army greens, and Marine Corps blues, the quiet of Memorial Day echoed through the streets of Havre Monday as more than 200 people gathered at the Hill County Courthouse to pay homage to our country's veterans.
It was a day to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice their lives.
"Let there be no doubt that all of the veterans here today were once a hero," Havre Mayor Bob Rice told the crowd. "Let us not forget that."
The ceremony began with Rice leading veterans from the Vets Club on Third Avenue to the courthouse. Members of Havre VFW Post 497 and the Ladies Auxiliary were joined by men and women representing the Royal Canadian Legion from Medicine Hat, Alberta.
"Hut, hut, hut," Rice said, directing the march. "About face."
The veterans complied.
Some held rifles. Others carried flags. All walked proudly.
Rice, the outgoing VFW post commander, passed the baton to Jim Matter, a fellow Vietnam War veteran.
Talk in the crowd ranged from the dozens of flags lining the streets to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The mood was a solemn one as the names of nearly 40 people were read the names of Havre veterans who died this year.
Some people wept. Others smiled with pride.
Rice told the vets to hold their chests out high and always walk with a swagger.
The veterans, once again, complied.