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A color guard presents the United States flag during a Veterans Day ceremony Thursday at the Minot Armory. [Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan]
A color guard presents the United States flag during a Veterans Day ceremony Thursday at the Minot Armory. [Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan]

A Day to Remember

Kim Fundingsland
 November 11, 2021
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Veterans Day Ceremony in Minot

An aging veteran snapped a steady salute for the presentation of the colors, steadied on his trembling legs by his spouse. Another removes his cap and struggles to manage a salute from his wheelchair. The scene is repeated in various forms throughout the armory adjacent to the Minot Auditorium. 

The solemn respect paid to the United States flag, and to each other, was emotional and stirring. The only sound in the room for a time was the rhythmic step of the color guard. The immense feeling of pride was evident to all. It is 11 a.m. on November 11, Veterans Day, a time to honor all veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States. 

The keynote speaker for the event was Col. Gary Kramlich, U.S. Army. Kramlich, born and raised in Minot, is currently assigned to the Pentagon. He greeted the gathering and thanked them for the opportunity to appear before them. 

As part of his Pentagon assignment, explained Kramlich, he is involved in military budgeting for 2024-28. Kramlich explained that he couldn’t tell everything he knows about the breakdown of the proposed budget. However, he did have some encouraging words for Minot. 

“Let’s just say there’s economic things coming to Minot Air Force Base and all of the surrounding activities that support that,” Col. Gary Kramlich, U.S. Army



“Let’s just say there’s economic things coming to Minot Air Force Base and all of the surrounding activities that support that,” said Kramlich. “I’m talking about 8, 10, 25 years into the future. That's all I’m saying about that.” 

Kramlich offered his analysis of China and Russia, two counties he singled out as the most strategic competitors of the U.S. 

“They are rivals and they are, in fact, our adversaries,” stated Kramlich. “They didn’t like us during the Cold War and fought against us in Korea and Vietnam. They don’t like us. They don’t like us a lot.” 

"We shouldn’t be surprised that others are willing to test what we are willing to fight for.” Col. Kramlich



Kramlich explained that China and Russia view the U.S. as an impediment to their national interests, adding that “They are going to continue to pursue those interests with every means necessary that they have. We shouldn’t be surprised that others are willing to test what we are willing to fight for.” 

While noting that the United States is unique in that it has a history of turning adversaries into allies, citing Japan and Germany as examples, he also pointed out the unique and peaceful relationship the U.S. has with Canada on the north and Mexico on the south. To emphasize his point he spoke about Russia, delivering a very specific message. 

“There is no state, and I’m going back a thousand years, there is no state that has ever enjoyed the status of being one of Russia’s neighbors. Russia is just not a good neighbor,” stated Kramlich. “What the United States does is perpetuate good will with our neighbors to prevent future wars.” 

kim.fundingsland@stage.mydakotan.com

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