Remembering her fallen; Boundary County Memorial Day 2024

Fallen veterans memorial
Boundary County memorial to her resident’s who laid their lives on the alter of their nation’s freedom in the memorial park at the Boundary County Library.

With quiet dignity and little fanfare, Boundary County veterans in American Legion Post 55, Veterans of Foreign War Post 3622 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 28, joined by other veterans not affiliated with a veterans service organization but compelled by a deep sense of duty, fanned out across the span of Boundary County with Boy and Girl Scouts, school classes and others, stopping at every cemetery and graveyard to place on the graves of veterans who’ve gone before the colors of the nation they all served, and for which some gave their last full measure.

As is long tradition, our community, hopefully joined again by a contingent of our steadfast allies to the north, who for years came south from Creston with their color guards and cadets to be welcome guests in remembering our fallen and in turn warmly greeting our contingent from Bonners Ferry who travelled north to stand with them on Remembrance Day November 11 … paying mutual respect for so much sacrifice shared.

As is usual, the fairgrounds parking lot will begin filling up at about 9 a.m. Monday, May 27, with a diverse and eclectic assemblage of cars and characters that will somehow come together into a fine parade at 10 a.m. to march, clop, walk and roll through downtown Bonners Ferry, smiles, waves and big handfuls of candy showering the crowded sidewalks as thanks for being there, kids dashing forward in waves as the procession rolls forward, the smiles, waves and love returned in full.

This year’s parade will follow its color guard from the fairgrounds to Bonner Street, progressing east past Riverside Auto Center, Mountain West Bank, Callie’s Niche and Larson’s, then turning right to proceed south down Main Street all the way to Arizona Street, where they will turn right, transition onto Railroad Street behind the courthouse. A right turn onto Second Street and past Eagle’s Aerie 3522. A left and they’re on their way back to the fairgrounds.

American Legion Post 55 Commander Joseph Knight
American Legion Post 55 Commander Joseph Knight

This year, a capable new American Legion Post 55 Commander is orchestrating the Boundary County Memorial Day Remembrance, and Joe Knight, whose dad served as both a U.S. Navy sailor and U.S. Army soldier before enlisting in the Army himself in 1997, will also serve as keynote speaker at services at Grandview Cemetery, where services begin at noon with an opening prayer by chaplain Jeffrey Phillips, followed by the ever dignified and precise entrance of the Bonners Ferry Fire Honor Guard and the posting of the colors.

Pastor Len Pine will next step away from his place in the honor guard to lend his fine voice in singing the National Anthem, followed by Knight, a member of the American Legion for just over a year, elected commander of Post 55 just over a month ago and already overseeing one of the Post’s most detailed events.

“I have a good crew behind me,” he said.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1997, going through basic training in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, and then to Fort Gordon, Georgia, for advanced individual training as a multichannel transmission systems operator, based at Ft. Lewis, Washington, and then Darmstadt, Germany, from where he deployed to Albania with Task Force Hawk in 1999 during the onset of the Kosovo conflict. His team supported the 82nd Airborne Division with communications as the airfield in Tirana was secured and developed, then shifted to Camp Able Sentry, Macedonia, where they provided communications to ground forces pushing north into Kosovo. He rose in rank to specialist and was honorably discharged after four years of service.

Following his presentation, the American Legion Post 55 Honor Guard will fire a three-volley salute and sound “Taps.” Chaplain Phillips will deliver the closing prayer and the Bonners Ferry Fire Honor Guard will stand to retire the colors.

Afterwards, all veterans, their families and guests are invited to a free lunch at the Boundary County Fairgrounds.

Time Line
Boundary County Memorial Day Observance
Monday, May 27

9 a.m., begin staging for parade.
10 a.m., Parade through downtown Bonners Ferry.
Noon; Memorial Service at Grandview Cemetery.
1 p.m.: Veterans and their families invited for lunch at the fairgrounds Memorial Hall.

Parade route map

2024 Memorial Day Parade route