The memorial wall of 115 names was unveiled on the Fourth of July at Patriot Field in an hour long ceremony that commemorated Bingham County's war dead.  The event began with the marching entry of the Blackfoot Firefighter's Pipes and Drum Unit playing "Amazing Grace." The master of ceremonies was radio personality Carl Watkins.  The National Anthem was performed by an acapella quartet made up of Bart Brown, Kevin Young, Chris Dunbar and Stewart Smith.  The keynote speaker for the event was Stewart Portela, Firth High School teacher and author of "Heroes Among Us."  Portela's theme was inspired by the words of Civil War General Joshua Chamberlain - 

"In great deeds, something abides.  On great fields, something stays.  Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls . . . generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream; and lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls."

Leland Sorensen, Chaplain of the Aberdeen American Legion Post 59 gave the dedicatory prayer.  The ceremony ended with a 21 gun salute by the members of the Blackfoot American Legion Stewart Hoover Post 23 and Taps by Judge Ryan Boyer.  Afterward the wall was approached by many who pointed out names on the wall to family and friends.  

by Catie Clark - The Morning News, Thursday, July 5, 2018

Dedicatory Prayer for Fallen Soldiers Memorial, Patriot Field, Blackfoot, Idaho, 4 July 2018, by Leland H Sorensen

Our Father which art in Heaven, we have gathered this day to dedicate this memorial which bears the names of those persons from Bingham County who have fallen while in service to this nation of the United States of America.  It is only proper that we should recognize and remember the great sacrifices made by these individuals.

We ask that this memorial will be able to withstand the elements and the ravages of time, and that it also be protected from those who seem to take satisfaction in causing pointless havoc for reasons known only to themselves.

May those who visit this location always find it to be a place of peace, a place of reverence, and a place fitting to contemplate the sacrifices made by those whose names are here found.

We pray for the day when Peace and Righteousness shall reign upon the earth—the day when further memorials such as this will not be necessary.  Until that day, we pray that this memorial will be a reminder to each of us that we must also do our part in keeping this nation free—as have those whose names appear on this wall.

May we never forget that this memorial is more than just a collection of names, but that these names represent real people who had real lives, real parents, real siblings, real spouses, and real children.  We pray for a blessing of comfort upon those family members who are missing any who have died while in service to this nation.

We do now dedicate this memorial as a tribute to those who have given their lives in service to their country.  We dedicate this memorial to the families who found it necessary to go on without those that they so dearly loved.  We dedicate this memorial to all veterans who visit here seeking answers and peace from the losses that they have witnessed in their lives.  Father, we humbly ask that thou would speak peace to their souls in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen



Photo by Caleb Young