Hoeven Honors Families of Fallen North Dakota Servicemembers at Annual TAPS Seminar

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today met with more than 30 North Dakota military family members attending the 19th Annual TAPS National Military Service Seminar and Good Grief Camp for Survivors. Since 1995, the national TAPS conference has been held in Washington, D.C. over Memorial Day weekend for military families from across the country to join together to participate in events tailored for survivors grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving our country.

“It is a special honor to have the chance to meet today with the North Dakota families participating in this year’s TAPS Conference,” Hoeven said. “These family members who have lost a loved one in the service to our country have also made a tremendous sacrifice, and the strength and resolve of these families should inspire all Americans.

“While no word or action could ever adequately honor these families or their loved ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice, it is fitting and right that we should hold events like this weekend’s seminar. Events like this offer an important opportunity for these families to connect with other survivors as they work with grief and trauma professionals and share memories of their loved ones. This conference, which coincides with Memorial Day weekend, also offers all Americans a chance to pause to express our appreciation to these brave military families as we also pledge to always remember and honor the sacrifice our fallen heroes have made for our state and our country.”

The North Dakotans participating in this year’s TAPS seminar were accompanied by North Dakota National Guard staff members. Since 2005, nearly 200 North Dakotans have participated in the annual event, with funding made possible through private donations. The North Dakota National Guard Association administers funding for participants.

On Wednesday, a separate remembrance ceremony was held in Bismarck at the Memorial to the Fallen in the Global War on Terrorism to honor Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde and Spc. Tyler John Orgaard who were killed in Afghanistan last December. The Memorial to the Fallen was dedicated on Sept. 11, 2009, as a tribute to each of the North Dakota servicemembers who have lost their lives while serving in support of the Global War on Terrorism.