Williston has always supported the military, and for proof you can look no further than the claim the city had the nation’s first official monument to the unknown who died in war.
That monument, originally dedicated more than 100 years ago, will be rededicated this Memorial Day.
That will be part of the Memorial Day program put on by the Military Affairs Committee – Williston Basin at 10:50 a.m., Monday, May 31 at Veterans Plaza in Williston’s Riverview Cemetery.
A historically accurate reproduction of Williston’s monument was constructed with guidance from the Williston Cemetery Advisory Board and the efforts from the Military Affairs Committee. Construction was completed by Williston Woodworks and the dedication of Isaac Haugen as his Eagle Scout project.
As part of the American Legion’s Memorial Day program, the new Monument to the Unknown will have a wreath placed in front of it by a U.S. Army Sentinel in a special ceremony. Sentinels are tasked with honoring and protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. All Sentinels are members of the Old Guard, who are all from HHC, 4th BN, 3d US IN REG. Cpl. Troy Leister will be the Sentinel traveling to Williston to provide this honor.
Sen. Kevin Cramer will also be present to deliver the rededication address 102 years after Usher L. Burdick gave the first address in front of an open grave and the original monument.
A portion of Ninth Avenue West in front of Veterans Plaza will be blocked off and there will canopies with seating to accommodate those attending.