Bottineau, ND - After nearly seven decades one city says goodbye.
It could have been solemn, but it was instead a day of celebration at the Bottineau City Armory Monday afternoon.
The last unit to serve in Bottineau is Detachment 1, 132nd Quartermaster Company.
All 25 soldiers have been reassigned to other units or have retired.
(Keith Peterson/State Adjutant, ND Amvets) "It seems like it's always been a part of the Bottineau community."
(General Manager Al Dohrmann/Adjutant General, ND National Guard) "I really wanted to come back and have the opportunity to thank the community for this incredible partnership we've had for so many years."
(Becky Farr/KX News) "The Bottineau community says goodbye to a 77-year relationship with the National Guard.
But even the decommission can't put an end to that relationship."
(Dohrmann) "It's just part of right sizing the army and also is impacted by federal budget considerations."
Monday, February 20th marks the final formation of Bottineau's National Guard.
(Dohrmann) "I'm overwhelmed - there's a flag on every light pole, this room is filling up very quickly.
Following federal direction to deactivate the last unit in town - the city, Bottineau County veterans, and the National Guard took the time to thank one another for almost 80 years of partnership.
(Dohrmann) "This is just our way of saying thank you for that partnership we've had for all these years and really most of this is the city really appreciating what the guard has done for our state and our nation and saying thank you to us also."
Soldiers cased their colors to retire the last unit in Bottineau.
(Peterson) "There's been thousands upon thousands of North Dakota residents that have gone through this unit or have been attached to this unit of the National Guard in the past."
(Dennis Haakenson/Bottineau) "It was great to have them all those years because they were here, there was a lot of them and they helped the community out with different things."
City Auditor Penny Nostdahl says the Guard's presence will be very missed, but that the community is forever grateful.
(Dohrmann) But for the community to take that and come back to us with appreciation and celebration of that partnership I think is a statement to the patriotism and the people in Bottineau and Bottineau County."
General Dohrmann says he hopes to be able to always maintain a presence in Bottineau.
Whether it be only on Memorial Day or Veterans Day he said he'll get soldiers out there to honor the community that was so good to the National Guard.