MISSOULA – As Americans prepare to celebrate the 237th anniversary of U.S. independence, Grateful Nation Montana will engrave the name of Army Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde on the Grateful Nation Montana Fallen Soldier Memorial at the University of Montana.
On July 2, Linde’s name will join those of the 42 other soldiers from Montana who have paid the ultimate price while serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The GNM Fallen Soldier Memorial is a magnificent tribute to our soldiers,” said David Bell, Grateful Nation Montana founder and president.
The memorial, located along historic Memorial Row on the northeast side of campus, features five larger-than-life bronze statues surrounded by 42 12-by-24 inch granite tablets recessed in the ground containing the name, branch, rank, years lived and Montana hometown of each of the heroes.
“We know the legacy of Darren Linde as a defender of our freedom, proudly wearing our nation’s uniform,” Bell said. “Additionally, Darren was a husband and father, and as fellow Montanans we mourn with the Linde family for their loss.”
Linde, 41, grew up in Sidney and was serving with the North Dakota National Guard when he died in a roadside blast in southern Afghanistan in early December. He and his wife, Adrienne, had four children.
Linde will join the names of other Montana heroes at this memorial so that future generations always will remember the sacrifice they made for the country.
Formed in 2007, Grateful Nation Montana facilitates college educations for the children of Montana soldiers killed on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The organization gifted the Fallen Soldier Memorial to UM on Nov. 4, 2011. For more information visit http://www.gratefulnationmontana.com/. The memorial will be dedicated in October as the official State Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans’ Memorial.
Garden City Monument Services will engrave the name at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, and the process will take several hours.
Photo 1 cutline: Army Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde
Photo 2 cutline: Linde on active duty (courtesy photo).
State, Sidney media