GREAT FALLS — The Montana Veterans Memorial in Great Falls is undergoing renovations in an effort to keep the site updated. The renovations start with refurbishing two eternal flame pillars that haven’t been lit for years.
The memorial is important to all veterans, with names going as far back as the civil war.
Michael Winters, one of the people who spearheaded the creation of the memorial, says that the pillars represent the eternal flame and honor of veterans and those currently serving.
“The lights are so important, so very important," he said. "It's honoring everyone who signed the bottom line on a check to defend our nation.”
New solar-powered lights were drilled into the bowl on top of the pillar and will emit a soft glow, forever shining brightly once again.
The other restoration is the concrete replacement within the memorial itself. The project is set to take six weeks to complete and will last the memorial for years to come.
“The goal is to create a community safe place for remembrance," Winters said. "There's close to 8,000 tiles here. As we gain funds, we try to improve.”
He added, “All veterans are painted with the same brush. We're all brothers. We're all sisters. I think it's enormously important and it's important to all veterans.”
Since it opened in 2006, the Montana Veterans Memorial has placed more than 7,400 tiles honoring Montana veterans, both living and deceased. About 200 new tiles are added every year before Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
The Montana Veterans Memorial is at 1025 25th Street North in Great Falls. For more information, or if you would like to honor a veteran, click here to visit the website, or call 406-454-9070.