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Bigfork, Montana Area Chamber of Commerce

Honoring the Past

In less than one year, a wooded and overgrown corner of Bigfork’s Sliter Park was transformed by volunteers into a memorial for those who founded and built this community on the bay. The Memorial Park was formally dedicated on a Sunday afternoon in 2011 and has quickly become a favorite attraction for the village.

Located just across the historic steel bridge at the entrance to Sliter Park, the memorial includes a 25’ lighted flagpole, native plantings, rock wall perimeter, rock benches, informational signs and a brick memorial walking path. Two bronze statues mounted on native stone anchor the memorial. Pioneer Woman was created by Ron Adamson of Libby while Fallen Heroes was sculpted by Ken Bjorge of Bigfork.

Fallen Heroes was consigned and entrusted to the Sliter Memorial Park by the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund.  During the dedication, Major General Paul E. Vallely (US Army Ret.) spoke on behalf of the veterans and told the story of the statue.  It depicts an actual event during Operation Iraqi Freedom when a young girl clutching a teddy bear saved an entire convoy of US military men and women by simply standing in the middle of the road.  When the convoy stopped and they approached the young child, she pointed to the IED ahead. The statue honors all the men and women of Bigfork who have served in the armed forces.

Pioneer Woman was commissioned by the memorial committee to honor those men and women who traveled west and carved a community from the wilderness.

More than 200 memorial bricks have already been purchased and laid in the memorial path.  Additional bricks are still available for $50 for one brick or $40 each for two or more.

To learn more about Bigfork and its history, visit www.bigfork.org.  Media queries may be directed to Carol Beck-Edgar at edgecomm@montanasky.us. 406-837-2061.

 


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