Moving Wall Remembers ND Veterans

Belcourt, ND - Veterans are being honored over the next week in Belcourt.

The Moving Wall - a black wall with names of service members from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota who were killed in Viet Nam - is on display at the Sky Dancer Resort and Casino.

Jim Olson reports from Belcourt.

(Richard Marcellais, Tribal Veterans Service Officer) "It brings back memories."

Richard Marcellais served in Viet Nam in the 1960s. Today, he's happy to have been part of an effort to bring a small part of the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington DC to Belcourt.

(Richard Marcellais, Tribal Veterans Service Officer) "Big project but I'm proud that we got it done with all our veterans."

The Moving Wall is dedicated to service members from the Dakotas and Minnesota who died in Viet Nam. Four of the names on the wall - highlighted by the special banner - belong to tribal members.

(Richard Marcellais, Tribal Veterans Service Officer) "Christopher Davis. Dennis Manson, David Larson, and Eric Nadeau are all from Turtle Mountain and were killed in Viet Nam.

Their photos sit near the wall - and local veterans gave a special welcome to the memorial as it officially opened Friday morning.

(Bill Peterson, ND Native Honor Flight) "Very emotional because I served in Viet Nam in the late 70s. I knew some people that are on this wall and their families. So it's very touching and healing in a sense too."

Also displayed? A book including the names - many with photos - of all enrolled members who are veterans.

(Tyrrell Decoteau, Tribal Council Member) "Over 1,700 of our local veterans are in our book. Dan Jerome, one of our elders and eldest veterans in the community has been working on this for some time now. It's pretty much become a dream come true for him."

Another dream on display is the Native Veterans Honor Flight - an effort to raise funds to arrange a trip to DC for World War Two vets to see the memorial dedicated to them.

(Bill Peterson, ND Native Honor Flight) "Back in our time we weren't treated the best. Now we try to be more positive and help the veteran."

A special week for veterans - in conjunction with Turtle Mountain Days that also run for the next week. In Belcourt, Jim Olson, KX News.

Richard Marcellais says the Moving Wall is scheduled to be on display at the Fort Berthold Reservation next month.

The wall's normal home is the Fargo Air Museum.

 

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