Sept. 11 ceremony honors ND soldiers

BISMARCK—Three North Dakotans killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan will be honored this weekend as their names are added to the North Dakota Memorial to the Fallen in the Global War on Terrorism.

The recognition ceremony will be at 2 p.m. CT Saturday in Bismarck.

The memorial is a joint endeavor between the city of Bismarck and the North Dakota National Guard and is outside the main entrance at Fraine Barracks.

Parking is available at the Bank of North Dakota, 1200 Memorial Highway, near the east end of the Liberty Memorial Bridge.

Service members being recognized for their sacrifice are:

 – Sgt. Michael E. Bitz, United States Marine Corps, formerly of Wishek, N.D. Killed in action in Nasiriya, Iraq, March 23, 2003.

– Pfc. Jonathan C. Yanney, United States Army, formerly of Hettinger, N.D. Killed in action in Argandab, Afghanistan, Aug.18, 2009.

– Spc. Keenan A. Cooper, United States Army, formerly of Wahpeton, N.D. Killed in action in Yakuta, Afghanistan, July 5, 2010

The ceremony will be preceded by a motorcycle “ride-in” by the North Dakota Patriot Guard.

Speakers include Gov. John Hoeven, Congressman Earl Pomeroy, Bismarck Mayor John Warford and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk. Dina Ferderer, whose late son Dennis is already honored on the memorial, will represent the Families of the Fallen.

The ceremony will include a 21-gun salute and Taps.

The memorial and its maintenance are funded by private donations through the nonprofit North Dakota National Guard Foundation.