Saturday, December 02, 2023

Events honor area veterans

Editor | November 9, 2023 12:00 AM

Veterans across Lake County will be honored Friday and Saturday with events in Ronan and Polson.

Glacier View School will host a Veterans Celebration and Lunch at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10. The school is located at 36332 Mud Creek Lane, north of Ronan.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Ronan offers a free brunch for veterans from 9-11 a.m. Nov. 11 and a Veterans Day Bazaar is on tap from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Ronan Community Center. The VFW is located on Round Butte Road.

The Miracle of America Museum in Polson is offering free admission to veterans and spouses (or a child or grandchild) on Saturday. Museum founder Gil Mangels, who served three years with the Military Police, will offer a program at noon that explores “the involvement in local veterans in preserving our freedom.” The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

“It’s going to be good,” predicts Ronan VFW Quartermaster Melvin Quakenbush of local Veterans Day celebrations.

He served in Vietnam from 1970-71. “I was one of the lucky ones you know, I made it home.” 

Quakenbush will be in Helena Friday and Saturday to watch his grandson participate in a Special Olympics basketball tournament, and says he regrets missing the local celebration.

Another veteran who will spend the day elsewhere is Jeff Nelson, treasurer for the American Legion Hardwick Post in Polson. He's headed to Crowsnest Pass in Alberta Nov. 11 to celebrate Remembrance Day.

He says the event is akin to Memorial Day in the U.S., with parades and ceremonies. It’s been observed since the end of the World War I in 1919 to honor armed forces members who have died in the line of duty.

Around a dozen veterans from Montana are part of a “friendship delegation” that joins Canadians for speeches and parades. “It’s a fun time and a solemn time too,” he says.

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