- Editorial Offices
- 325 Brantly Hall
- Missoula, MT 59812
- (406) 243-2488
- Icons By Maria Maldonado
The Fallen Soldier Memorial at UM is a solemn reminder of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial, bearing the names of Montana soldiers who lost their lives in the recent wars, was recognized as the official State Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans’ Memorial this past fall.
The dedication ceremony took place after the military appreciation football game, when Griz Nation honored members of the armed services before and during the contest.
“This dedication is a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to our forty-three Montana servicemen who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan,” says David Bell, co-founder of Grateful Nation Montana, which led efforts to create the monument on campus.
In its last session, the Montana Legislature passed House Bill 351, extending the state designation to the memorial without a single opposing vote. Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed the bill into law April 8.
“While this memorial specifically recognizes those who lost their lives, it also honors all military personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” UM President Royce Engstrom says. “We couldn’t be more proud to host this monument on our campus as a gesture of respect to all veterans and their families.”
The Fallen Soldier Memorial features five larger-than-life bronze statues surrounded by granite tablets recessed in the ground. The tablets are inscribed with the name, branch, rank, years lived, and Montana hometowns of each fallen soldier. The monument was installed at UM in 2011 and initially dedicated on November 4 of that year.