Sometimes in order to get something done, it's just best to get after it yourself and see it through to the finish line.
The effort, spearheaded by Tom Gehringer and his wife Judy, has led to something pretty neat for the residents in the Mohall area.
With the county seat resting in Mohall, the couple was seeking more to honor departed area veterans in a special way.
After some convincing, permission from the county commissioners was granted, leading to the couple walking each of the 24 cemeteries in search of the names of departed veterans.
Beginning with some 206 names, Tom indicated they reached 622 names that have been logged for the July 15 presentation.
The tags were embossed with the names of the deceased veterans on a military-style dog tag.
The tags are alphabetized per war, with room available for up to 1,000 names, encased in the three cabinets that have been constructed.
Tom assures these are sturdy cabinets, made of aluminum that will withstand the North Dakota weather conditions.
The project was dedicated at 11 a.m. on July 15, 2017, as a part of the Mohall All-School Reunion.
The display is placed on the southeast corner of the courthouse lawn in Mohall.
The ceremony brought in close to 500 people, to watch an outstanding memorial. The Minot Air Force Base provided the color guard, while the Canadian Cadets were on hand to perform with bagpipes. Minot Air Force Base Maj. Suden spoke, and Legionnaires from the surrounding areas arrived to march the unveiling of the memorial. Revelry Bugle, national anthem, "O Danny Boy," a cannon salute to the fallen comrades, cannon gunners, taps, a flag presentation, and to top the ceremony off a flyover of a T28 aircraft trainer plane used by the U.S. Marine Corps.
For Tom, a Vietnam U.S. Army veteran, having served in that part of the country from 1970-71, this is a special effort to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Now operating a propane business in Mohall, Tom is especially proud of the fact that he earned his GED while serving in Vietnam.
That led to him being able to graduate with the high school class back home in 2002.
Working on this project has added to the couple's education, as names dated back to the Civil and Spanish-American Wars.
"We have done a lot of research, along with walking and talking," said Tom, in order to bring this project full circle.
Since there is no active American Legion post in Mohall, it's great to have others join in the dedication.
Tom credits "a lot of people" who helped him and his wife to see this project through to the dedication.
While this is meant as a salute to those who gave all, Tom summed things up by saying, "I gave it all I got," to put his stamp on the memorial.
Tom recently was invited to speak to the 1st grade class at the Mohall School for Veterans Day. He talked to them about the importance of the flag and the desire to respect not only veterans but local law enforcement. He then bussed them to the memorial for a viewing and pictures. When Tom speaks about Vietnam, the memorial, or simply the importance of our red, white and blue colors, he gets emotional. He has a big, strong, solid heart for our country and for all his fellow veterans, and by putting this memorial in place it not only has strengthened Tom, but our little community of 800 people. Thank you to Tom for his service and dedication and educating the rest of us.
First News Story that aired on TV from KXMC-TV Minot ND - Prior to the ceremony (July 10).
Second News Story that was aired on TV from KXMC-TV -- the revealing on July 15.