When the young sailors of the future USS MONTANA (SSN 794) take their nuclear-powered fast attack submarine on patrol in defense of our nation, they will carry with them values and courage from their namesake state – and a powerful symbol of them.
The warship will carry a new ship’s bell, cast as a submarine-sized replica of the bell aboard the first and only other USS MONTANA, Armored Cruiser Number 13, commissioned in 1908. Melted into it are gold and silver dolphin pins worn by qualified submariners, and real Montana gold and silver, all in recognition of our state motto, Oro y Plata (Gold and Silver).
Montanans throughout Big Sky Country over the next months will be able to see the Oro y Plata Ship’s Bell, and experience its ringing to honor the fallen, our veterans, and our military members who will be our future veterans. The bell will then be presented to the submarine and her crew when the boat is commissioned into the Navy fleet next year.
Public events in the near future include:
Friday, September 10
5:00 PM in Butte
USS Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI), Montana Base Statewide Meeting.
A free public ceremony to unveil and ring the Oro y Plata Ship’s Bell will be held at the Veterans Memorial at Stodden Park in Butte at 5:00 PM on Friday, September 10. Following the ceremony there will be a no-host dinner in the Rocky Mountain Room at the La Quinta Inn, 1 Holiday Park Drive, Butte, at which a full presentation on the future USS MONTANA and her crew will be featured.
Seating is limited for the dinner, and cost is $20. For a dinner reservation, call Roger at 406.491.6563.
Saturday, September 11
4:00 PM north of Bigfork
9/11 Honor and Serve Foundation
A free public 20 Year Remembrance of 9/11 program will feature meaningful patriotic music and flag presentations and guest speakers. Ringing of the Oro y Plata Ship’s Bell will conclude the program.
Location is Wrangler Springs Ranch, 6850 Montana Highway 35, Bigfork.
For more information, go to 9-11honorandserve.com.
Sunday, September 12
6:00 PM in Missoula
Western Montana Military Officers Association (WMMOA)
As one of the earliest supporters of the USS Montana Committee and its work in support of the commissioning and crew of SSN 794, WMMOA is hosting a presentation dinner with a powerful update on the future USS MONTANA and crew, including an unveiling and ringing of the Oro y Plata Ship’s Bell.
The dinner, open to the public, will begin at 6:00 PM at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 100 Madison Street, Missoula. Cost is $30. For additional information and registration, call Mike at 406.274.1911.
We hope you’ll be able to attend one of these events, or another near you later this year or early next.