By Ron VandenBoom
Fourth Avenue will be bright with fluttering flags Saturday when VFW Post 497 dedicates seven new flagpoles and welcomes the Purple Heart Memorial and flag wagon to Havre.
The dedication ceremony and flag-raising begins at 9 a.m. in the parking lot across the street from the Havre VFW Club.
A seven-man honor guard will present a 21 gun salute and four American flags, a Canadian flag, a Montana flag, and a VFW flag will be hoisted in honor of the occasion.
The dedication ceremony and flag-raising is being held in conjunction with the arrival and display of the Purple Heart Memorial, which will also be on display in the parking lot.
The Purple Heart Memorial consists of three blocks of engraved granite that contain the names of Montanans who have received the Purple Heart. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the military who have been killed or wounded in combat.
The memorial is on a 10-week, 3,700 mile, tour to 65 Montana communities to raise $100,000. The funds will be used to complete and erect the memorial on the lawn of the Yellowstone County Courthouse on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
The memorial, according to Gerry LaFountain, a Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient who also commands Chapter 343 of the Montana Order of the Purple Heart, will be composed of 9 tablets arranged in a semicircle. It will contain the names of thousands of Purple Heart recipients.
LaFountain is hoping to find additional Purple Heart recipients to add to the memorial as they travel the state.
From Havre the memorial is scheduled to travel to Fort Belknap.