Thousands of men and women in the military sacrifice every day for our protection, peace, and freedoms even if that means risking their own life, which so many have done.
One veteran is dedicating his efforts to honoring our fallen heroes and doing it in a big way.
Harriet Goodiron says, “Ever since day one and ever since that happened to Nathan November 3rd, 2006, they’ve been the ones that’s been behind our family.”
Harriet Goodiron, mother to Corporal Nathan Goodiron, who was killed in action in Afghanistan while on duty with the North Dakota National Guard’s Grand Forks-based 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and since his passing, Harriet has felt the love and support from both the MHA Nation and others across the state, like the North Dakota Heroes Foundation.
“The mission of the North Dakota Heroes Foundation that I set up in 2011 was to honor North Dakota heroes who died in battle in either Iraq or Afghanistan.” Founder Duane Sand said.
Goodiron is the 10th soldier to be recognized out of 22 North Dakotans who have given their lives in the global war on terrorism and today the heroes foundation honored him with a ceremony and a Soldiers Battlefield Cross monument outside of the Three Affiliated Tribes Museum in New Town.
“The Soldiers Cross is a traditional way of honoring those died in battle by the units where they were when they died,” Sand said. “and once they get back to America you know their names and their pictures maybe go on a plaque somewhere, but what we decided to do was bring that same soldiers cross that is used for those team members and unit members that died overseas and build them here in North Dakota.”
Sand told KX News he’s held these ceremonies all across the state, but today’s spoke volumes.
“I knew that he had to be special because normally when I do these dedication ceremonies I get one VIP or two, and I ask several. This year I asked for one or two, and I got four.” he said.
One of those four being U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer, who says he’s proud of what Sand is doing with the foundation.
“It’s always important to never forget and these events remind us of the importance of that and dedicating monuments and memorials allows us to remember into perpetuity, so it’s a really important day.” U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer said.
And for those who deal with the losses of our heroes first hand, like Goodiron, appreciate these moments even more.
“We want our sons and daughters to be remembered and this is a good way of doing it, now when they come into the museum this is one of the statues that they’re going to see in here,” Goodiron said.
Sand says the ceremony was put on in conjunction with the North Dakota Patriot Guard, who has been a huge part of these events since 2015.