Memorial Day ceremony honors veterans in Bozeman
BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Memorial Day celebration started early in Bozeman as people lined Main St. Bozeman's American Legion Post 14 puts on the parade every year.
It features veteran's groups from Vietnam veterans, to VFW woman's auxiliary. Local groups like the boy scouts and the Bozeman High marching band also walked in the parade. After the parade, the American Legion hosted a ceremony at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. They honored veterans from the Civil War to the present, and 17 gold star families. Those are families who lost someone serving the United States.
Monday morning they called out 17 names of the servicemen and women who passed. One of those names was Byron Whitcomb. He was represented by his mother, Billie Jean Eisinger, and his step-father, Tom Eisinger. "He was taken from us before he got to go overseas," said Tom Eisinger. Eisinger tells us Whitcomb was murdered on Fort Polk Army Base in Louisiana. It has now been almost 4 years since Whitcomb passed. Eisinger and his wife have been attending the ceremony for the past few years, but for Tom the ceremony still leaves him speechless. "I can't even describe the feeling to you, to be honest with you," said Tom Eisinger. When we spoke to Billie Jean, Whitcomb's mother, she tells us the ceremony is a time for her to reflect on the good. "I know it might not seem this way, but it helps you heal just a little bit more," said Billie Jean Eisinger. It is also an emotional day for members of American Legion Post 14 in Bozeman, like Chaplain Les Walton. "The laying of the wreath at the headstone here is an all-services headstone. We lay a wreath every year to remember every veteran and all the services. When you see the gold star families, you can't help but remember all the families you face-to-faced with and had to tell them that they have lost a child, a father or a husband," said Walton.
Whether it be young or old, veterans and those fighting their own battle back home,they tell us Memorial Day is an honor to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.