Hundreds of Yellowstone County residents honored fallen military members for Memorial Day.  Ceremonies of remembrance took place across the county throughout the day, each ending with the traditional three seven-shot volleys of rifle fire and the solitary sounding of taps that concludes a military funeral.

Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, a retired Navy SEAL commander, spoke at a late-morning ceremony at Mountview Cemetery in Billings.  He said we honor the fallen, and the fallen are our youth.

At each service, veterans and their loved ones joined local and state officials in honoring those who served and died as members of America’s armed forces.  Major General Matthew Quinn, adjutant general of the Montana Army National Guard, read Linda Ellis’ poem “The Dash,” at the Yellowstone National Cemetery outside of Laurel.  It says what matters in a person’s life is what happens where the dash sits between the birth and death dates on their tombstone.