Veterans Day

People in Western North Dakota take no second place when it comes to honoring and remember veterans. All year-long.

Today is the day on which Veterans Day is observed, November 11.


Medora has sometimes been called the most patriotic town in the state. It’s hard to say if that’s true, but certainly, on some days, it can feel like it — especially in mid-July when the town hosts veterans with special events and activities.

Near the Billings County Courthouse in Medora is a granite wall with the names of the cowboy veterans from the area.  You’ll see people there at the wall who stop to find names of family and people they know — maybe some names you know are there.


pointing out a name on the Medora veterans wall

Pointing out a name of the Medora Veterans wall.


The little Dunn County cowboy town of Killdeer honors veterans with its annual Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo.  In 2018, the new rodeo grounds west of town were initiated, and that initiation came with the introduction of the giant flag.  That flag flies over the arena from a hilltop nearby.  

YouTube player


Like other rodeo’s patriotism abounds and when the National Anthem sounds, you can see cowboys snap to attention as everyone stands and honors America and the men and women who fought for freedom.

killdeer rodeo flag

Killdeer rodeo cowboys line up to present the giant flag at the 2018 Killdeer Rodeo grounds, the new rodeo grounds. The ceremony honored veterans and first responders.

History shows the attraction of the Killldeer Mountain Roundup. It started in Oakdale, north of Killdeer.

The previous rodeo grounds, in town, also boasted a large American Flag unfurled in opening ceremonies that honored veterans. (photo provided.)

Fort Berthold Indian Reservation

Veterans are not only honored at every community celebration, or powwow, they take a leading role in the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara nation.  At the grand entry, veterans from the local American Legion lead the procession of dancers into the arbor.  Lead by the veterans, sometimes in uniform, the entire collection of dancers enter the spotlight dancing to the Flag Song in a respectful moment when living and dead veterans are honored.

Two elders who are veterans are part of the honor guard for the daily flag raising

Patriotism is a major element of the Twin Buttes Powwow. Each morning is a flag raising and a flag song honoring the tribal members who have served the U.S. Military.


Veterans who served in the U.S. military are greatly respected among the people of the Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara.  Their current Chairman, Mark Fox is a marine and serves in Marine Corps events in North Dakota.

Going back to 1875, Arikara and Mandan men volunteered to act as scouts to General George Armstrong Custer’s war against Sioux Indians up to and including at Little Big Horn.  The tradition of serving as military scouts is honored by the Old Scouts Society, a group that honors the role of scouts in the military — many of whom were scouts in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, and other military operations.

The Old Scouts Cemetary near White Shield marks the resting place of Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara veterans.



veteran cemetery

Year round, veterans from the Mandan and Arikara tribes are honored at the veterans cemetery west of Garrison. It’s not unusual to find fellow soldiers from across the U.S. stop here to pay their respect as these soldiers were doing.

Plan a visit

While Veterans Day honors all U.S. veterans dead or alive, at next spring’s Memorial Day, plan a trip to the Old Scouts Cemetery to join in traditional ceremonies and activities honoring those veterans who have died. You can read more about the Old Scouts by clicking this link.

We can help you plan a trip to touch base with events and locations in the North Dakota Badlands that honor veterans.  Just drop us a comment or an email.

Beautiful Badlands Nd sets up trips, visits, hikes, and itineraries for people who want to experience the North Dakota Badlands.  Let’s get to work on a visit for you.