Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the annual Memorial Day Ceremony will be conducted virtually. Citizens are invited to view the live-stream available on the N.D. National Guard's website, www.ndguard.nd.gov beginning at 12 noon on Monday, May 25.
This year's keynote speaker is retired Maj. Arnie Strebe. A former North Dakota National Guard officer, Strebe currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Human Services for the state of North Dakota. The emcee is N.D. National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jon Wymer.
Scheduled to render remarks are Gov. Doug Burgum, Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Kevin Cramer, and Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general for the North Dakota National Guard.
Weather permitting, a flyover will be performed by two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters at approximately 12:03 p.m. This aerial display is a salute to the fallen military members buried at the cemetery and will open the formal program.
The national anthem will be performed by Ms. Brianna Helbling. The North Dakota National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team will execute a 21-gun cannon salute with a World War I-era French 75-millimeter cannon, followed by a performance of Taps by Mr. Doug Webber of AMVETS Post #9.
Also in support of Memorial Day recognition activities, the Viet Nam Vets/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club is organizing their annual Honor Run at "The Shop" (131 Airport Road) in Bismarck. This year's run will not enter the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, but will instead pass by the cemetery's front gate as a salute to the fallen and continue south on North Dakota Highway 1806. Participants will leave Bismarck at approximately 11 a.m., head west on Main Street, cross the Liberty Memorial Bridge to Mandan's Memorial Highway. After turning west on Mandan's 3rd Street SE, the motorcyclists will head south on Highway 1806 passing by the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. Please arrive with your motorcycle between 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. All motorcyclists and their passengers are invited to participate and no pre-coordination is required.
The North Dakota Veterans Cemetery is open to visitors 24 hours a day. We ask that during the Memorial Day ceremony, people visiting graves keep their distance from the central area near the flag plaza where the ceremony be conducted.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, small U.S. Flags will not be placed at gravesites this year according to a news release by the Veterans Administration (VA). In lieu of the flags, a wreath will be placed instead to honor the Fallen heroes at the cemetery.