Don Stough honored, a surprise visit from Senator Barrasso and more at the 2024 Lander Memorial Day ceremony

    (Lander, WY) – Dozens attended the May 27, Memorial Day 2024 services held at Mount Hope Cemetery in Lander, where they honored those who gave their lives in service to our country.

    h/t Vince Tropea, County 10

    Following the opening remarks, prayer and recital of the Pledge of Allegiance from VFW/American Legion representatives, local Veteran Keith Trouwborst read an official Mayoral Proclamation on behalf of Mayor Monte Richardson, which declared May 27, 2024 as Donald C. Stough Day.

    For those unaware, Don Stough, who is also the namesake of the local American Legion Post, was a combat soldier with the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division for the US Army.


    Stough was the first soldier from Lander to die on the battlefield in France during WWI, where he was also later laid to rest, and was the “epitome of service to our national and way of life.”

    “The City of Lander urges all Lander residents to give heartfelt thanks in honor of the service he so selflessly gave and the ultimate price he paid,” the Proclamation concluded.

    (You can hear more about Don Stough from Trouwborst in a recent Coffee Time interview, here.)

    h/t Vince Tropea, County 10

    Following the Proclamation, the ceremonial flowers were placed on the Veteran’s Memorial.


    “As long as two comrades survive, so will the Veterans of the United States, to render tribute to our heroic dead,” the Legion Commander commented before the flowers were placed.

    The red flower was placed first, which symbolizes “the zeal of our departed comrades and upholding brotherhood and justice,” followed by the the white flower, which represents “the token of the purity of the affection we have for our departed comrades,” and lastly the blue flower, which symbolizes “truth and fidelity” and serves as a “token of our sincere respect for all departed Veterans.”

    Auxiliaries then placed the memorial wreaths while another prayer was conducted, which honored the fallen and those affected by their losses.


    As it was time for a representative from Senator John Barrasso’s office to deliver a speech on his behalf, organizers and attendees were then in for a surprise when murmurs from the back of the crowd revealed he was able to attend the ceremony and deliver a speech in person.

    Senator Barrasso began by commenting that he was “so moved” by last year’s ceremony, that he wanted to be here again for 2024.

    Senator Barrasso recognized the five Wyoming residents who gave their lives for our country on D-Day, and also solemnly noted that as we approach the 80th anniversary of D-Day, there will no longer be WWII Veterans alive to honor in person like there was when he travelled to the 75th anniversary in Normandy with former President Trump.


    Senator Barrasso went on to mention that he still travels with the dog tags of his father, who also served in Normandy and earned five bronze stars.

    “As that greatest generation has passed, we continue to have great generations, serving in our nation,” Senator Barrasso commented before recognizing Dessie Bebout, whom Barrasso stated is a prime example of someone who “lived by the Cowboy Code.”

    “Today, we thank all of those who served, those who continue to serve and their families, and give a special honor to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe, and keep us free,” Senator Barrasso later concluded.

    The ceremony wrapped up with a rifle salute and TAPS from the American Legion, followed by a performance from the Lander Pipe Band.

    You can listen to Senator Barrasso’s full speech and check out some additional photos of the ceremony below.


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