Bozeman will have a MEMORIAL DAY PARADE this year! It'll be the first in 50 YEARS! (Yes, FIFTY YEARS!) General Norman Schwarzkopf will be in attendance and will speak at the Cemetary event.
Please plan to attend this very important event! I'll be there and have volunteered to help with food or anything for which I may be needed.
Send me a PM if you plan to attend and hopefully we can meet! It would be great to meet some of you here in Montana now that I'm settled in my new home.
Here's a post from a few days ago, but I can't seem to find the source link! (Sorry!)
I hope to see you there!
GOD BLESS OUR VETERANS. WE LOVE YOU.
Bringing back the Veterans Day Parade
Veterans Day will be observed Monday, May 31st with breakfast from 7 - 9 am at the Eagles Lodge, followed by the first Veterans� Memorial Day Parade in Bozeman in nearly 50 years from 9:30 - 11 am. Sponsored by American Legion Post 14, the parade will begin at the Gallatin County Courthouse, move eastward and end at Main and Buttonwood (which leads through the cemetary). There will be ceremonies at the Vietnam War Memorial, followed by lunch (also sponsored by the American Legion) at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds Events Park (Building 4) from 12:30 - 2:30 pm. All events are open to the public.
Leading the parade, in addition to General Norman Schwarzkopf, Governor Schweitzer, and several other generals will be Hugette Coughlin, a Bozeman resident who was 14 when the Nazis marched into Paris, and was there when General Patton�s 3rd Army liberated the country. A number of World War II veterans will be honored, including Matt McKennan and Richard Clower, who thinks WWII has been pushed into the background. �Being an ex-school administrator, I believe it has been downplayed in recent education.� He is adamant that the attention focused on him is for all vets: �It�s not we who are being honored, but the veterans we represent.� Desert Storm nurse Loretta Bendz will also ride near the front of the parade, along with Clower, Jim Drummond, Sr., Larry Nelson, Dana Schrupp, and Curtis Dassonville.
A Bozeman resident since 1983, Hugette Coughlin will be 85 on May 20th, 65 years after she arrived in New York by boat. Asked about her participation in this event, she demurred, then smiled, saying; �I�ve been bragging to everybody.� Mentioning her dismay that the Army was responsible for ending the World Day of Prayer, she said; �I hope that Bozeman will get behind the Parade and see that the soldiers are so courageous... we just have to be behind them because they are brave. They do what they have to do. You can see by letters to the editor (from soldiers) that they are full of love and energy for the country.� On the other hand, Coughlin is realistic; �I voted for Bush, but I wish we�d never gone to Iraq or Afghanistan. Where is there peace?�
When the Germans came to France in May, 1940 Hugette was living in Chatou, near Paris. �By the time they got to Belgium it was just like a train. My father�s factory was going to move, so we went to Limoge. It was terrible when we went south... it�s too bad, but it was the Italians under Mussolini who shot people along the road.� Coughlin�s journey to America began when she met MP Roger Murray Rusher at a dance near the end of the war. �The War was over in France but still going on in Japan,� she recalls. �He came over and talked to me and that was it. I said I�d never marry a man who can�t dance, but I did. He was tall, dark and handsome.� The couple moved to Roundup, where Hugette was warmly embraced by her husband�s family. �I was blessed because lots of war brides didn�t have good in-laws. Mine had a party for me � there were 80 people there. I�d never had a party like that. When I was a little girl we didn�t party. Here, we celebrate almost anything.�
An American flag welcomes visitors to Coughlin�s home. �I wish I could take it down (to wash).� Though she loves France, America is Hugette�s country. �If you want to work hard you have a chance here to have a good education and to make something of yourself. I feel really strongly. As a teen-ager watching soldiers... it was very sad for France. I get mad when people say something disparaging about this country. I would be German forever if Americans hadn�t come and helped us.�
After her first husband�s death in a plane crash (unrelated to military service), she met Terry Coughlin at a club where she played canasta in Roundup. Coughlin had served in the Army and was discharged in France, where the two married. �My folks and grand-folks got to know him, and he tried to speak French, so that's why they let me go back to America with him. After raising three children in Whitehall, the couple retired to Bozeman. They enjoyed traveling, and after Terry�s death, Hugette�s first solo trip took her to Turkey.
When not traveling, Coughlin leads a lively life in Bozeman. In addition to belonging to the Alliance Francaise book club, she works at the Museum of the Rockies in the store and as a security �guard.� She also belongs to The Pioneer Museum and has been a member of BWAGs (Bozeman Women�s Activity Group) for eight years. �They say I�m the role model. I used to love to climb, bike and ski and garden.� Now, with two hip and one knee replacement, she is content to walk and is very involved with Holy Rosary church.
Though her accent is heavy, Coughlin admits her French is no longer fluent, and says she�s going to buy a Rosetta Stone language course not only to brush up on her native tongue, but to polish her Spanish. Travel is still on the horizon: �I�m going to Alaska with my niece and the Senior Center in late August, and to France in October. I love to go the Louvre, but now I have to take the elevator.� Last year she visited France, Spain, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand. �After traveling so much, it�s nice to come home. When I visit, I go to big cities, so when I come back to Montana I appreciate that it�s peaceful here.�
Memorial Day Parades have been conducted nationwide since the end of the Civil War to honor America�s war dead, some 1.2 million U.S. armed forces. American Legion Post 14 intends to renew this memorial rememberance as an annual Bozeman event.