Mandan Memorial Day ceremony to commemorate Vietnam War

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May 30 is Memorial Day and the North Dakota Veteran's Cemetery in Mandan will be holding its annual ceremony.

This year's ceremony will be starting at noon at the North Dakota Veteran's Cemetery in Mandan, but it will be different than any other Memorial Day ceremony seen in the last 10 years because this year's ceremony will have a theme.

"This year we will be honoring and commemorating the Vietnam War and so this year that will be our theme," said Pamela Helbling-Schafer, ND Veteran's Cemetery.

The helicopter flyover had been a long standing tradition with the Memorial Day ceremony.

"For the past 40 years that we have flown and we stopped probably around 2007, 2008 and now we're starting the tradition again," said Maj. Jason McEvers, ND Army National Guard.

Now the flyover is back, and members of the North Dakota Army National Guard will be flying two U-H 72 Lakota Helicopters overhead to begin the ceremony.

"It's a great symbol of freedom, seeing the aircraft flying. It's a great memory for people who have served in war. They always are familiar with the sounds of the helicopter," said McEvers.

There will also be around 500 bikers making a Memorial Day Veterans Honor Run from the shop in Bismarck to the Veteran's cemetery.

The ceremony begins at noon and there will be speeches from North Dakota Adjutant General Major General Alan Dohrmann and the state's political delegates.