Hungry Horse bridge dedicated to fallen soldiers

Print Article

Brian Hattem holds a picture of Pfc. Nick Cook of Hungry Horse who was killed in action in Afghanistan in March, 2010 . In the background Kenneth Pulliam and Robert Gambino hold an American flag during a dedication ceremony of the bridge on Monday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

About 50 people braved the chill of the Bad Rock Canyon on Veterans Day to dedicate the South Fork of the Flathead River Bridge to Flathead Valley veterans who have been killed in action.

More than 200 names were read aloud, dating back to Fred W. Wheaton, who was killed in the Spanish American War to Pfc. Nick Cook, a Hungry Horse man killed in Afghanistan on March 7, 2010.

Brian Hattem was there to honor Cook in particular. Hattem’s granddaughter grew up with Nick and the two were very close. Cook posthumously received the Silver Star for gallantry in action, as he sprayed the enemy with machine gun fire so the fellow soldiers in his platoon could get off a mountain during a firefight alive.

Hattem said he talks to local schoolchildren and civic groups about Cook and his story. He’d like to see Cook receive a Medal Of Honor someday.

The idea of commemorating the bridge to those killed in action came from state Sen. Dee Brown of Hungry Horse.

She said the names of the local soldiers were gleaned from a memorial at the Conrad Cemetery in Kalispell — a memorial that isn’t seen by the general public unless they’re at the cemetery.

She said she wanted more people to recognize the fallen, so she carried in a bill in the last legislative session to get the memorial completed at the bridge.

“The South Fork Bridge is dedicated to the everlasting memory of those from Flathead County who gave their lives in the service of their country,” a large plaque in front of the bridge reads.

The bridge over the South Fork is relatively new — it was completed last fall. The plaques sit in a turnout not far from the main road.

Brown worked with the United Veterans of the Flathead to put the plaques together as well as the service. Local veterans read each individual name aloud and then Hattem read Cook’s name — the last on the plaques.

The ceremony ended with the playing of Taps.

Note this story has been corrected from its original version to reflect the right date of Pfc. Nick Cook’s death and Mr. Hattem’s first name.

Print Article

Read More Front Page Slider

Tenant says construction hours at apartments are too long, but developer says noisiest part of job will be done soon

December 04, 2019 at 7:56 am | Hungry Horse News A woman who rents at the new Highline Apartments on Bills Lane said she was probably going to break her lease because of noise at the development. Allison Dubenezic told the Columbia Falls city coun...


Read More

Glacier visitation eclipses 3 million

December 04, 2019 at 7:51 am | Hungry Horse News October was a slow month in Glacier National Park, but it was still enough to push visitation over the 3 million mark for the year. Through October, the Park saw 3.014 million visitors, second only ...


Read More

Rotary Club’s Night of Lights, Brunch with Santa coming up

December 04, 2019 at 7:51 am | Hungry Horse News The 34th annual Night of Lights parade and Brunch with Santa is coming up this weekend in Columbia Falls. The parade is 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 down Nucleus Avenue and is sponsored by the Columbia F...


Read More

Conductors claim that railroad is trying to squeeze them out of a job

November 27, 2019 at 7:57 am | Hungry Horse News Railroad workers charged last week that Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway wants to do away with conductors during a town hall-style meeting with Montana Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. in Kalispell last ...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2019 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy