Highway dedicated to 1 Doolittle Raider

“We are here in Dave’s name, but there are 79 other men who were on the Raid that day here with us.”
Doreen Stockdale
Thursday, October 3, 2019
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Photo by Maurice Cravens

Thatcher’s wife and daughter — Dawn Thatcher and Sandy Miller — pose in front of the new highway sign. See our gallery for more images.

Family, friends and community members gathered for the dedication of the David Thatcher Memorial Highway on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 26.

Thatcher’s wife of 70 years, Dawn, his daughter, Sandy Miller, and his son-in-law, Jeff Miller, were honored guests.

Jerry Brown, with the Absarokee Beartooth VFW Post 7311, ran the program.  There were fellow members of the VFW, friends and many well-wishers present to show support of the honor for the local war hero.

The program began with a blessing given by Pastor Meg Hatch from the Absarokee Community Congregational Church.

“As we honor the memory of David Thatcher, we acknowledge how he embodied the best qualities of his generation, the greatest generation, with his work ethic, his courage in stepping forward for an important but dangerous mission, his selfless service to our country,” Pastor Hatch said.  “We pray that every time we turn on to this road and read David Thatcher’s name, that we will be inspired to sit up a little straighter and live more nobly and selflessly.”

Jerry Brown explained that VFW Post 7311 veterans Gary Borland and Bart Lawson came up with the idea of the memorial highway.  The Post formed a committee that reached out to Sen. David Howard and Rep. Forrest Mandeville.  With the legislators’ support, the bill was presented to the Senate and the House.  It was passed with overwhelming support in both chambers.

The memorial highway starts at the intersection of Highways 78 and 419. Then up Highway 419, past where Thatcher had lived, and on to Nye, to where it intersects with highway 420.”

When speaking of David Thatcher, Gary Borland said, “He was, and still is, our very own hero, and it is very fitting that we dedicate this highway to him. We are asking you to say a quiet prayer of thanks to him and his comrades in arms each time you drive this road.  Thanks to these brave men and women, we are a free country today.”

Jeff Miller spoke on behalf of the Thatcher family.