Edna Nasca will be the Grand Marshal for this year’s Corvallis Memorial Day Parade.
Edna and her husband came to the valley 40 years ago. She graduated from high school in Wyoming and joined the Army where she served from 1979 to 1982. She has two children whom she and Joe raised at their end-of-the-road home east of Corvallis. Her husband retired from Bell McCall Company eight years ago where he worked as a mechanic.
Edna joined the Corvallis American Legion in 2000. “They invited Joe because he was Vietnam era,” said Edna. “I went too and read the material and realized that I was eligible too.” Edna started as Sergeant at Arms and worked her way up to Commander, a position she held for five years. She was the first female commander of the post. She still serves as an executive officer as Past Commander and likes to go to the meetings. Edna said that she’s worked to get more members to attend. She’s also a long-time member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Edna has also served as Commander of the local VFW and is currently Secretary/Treasurer of DAV Chapter #17, which is all of western Montana and has 467 members, “but not active.”
Edna’s two children live locally – Grantsdale and Stevensville – so she’s able to see her grandkids regularly, which she enjoys. She also likes to go gopher hunting and ride her four-wheeler. She said she’s known in the neighborhood for driving her pickup truck pretty fast, and when she’s coming down her dirt road, the neighbors say, “Here comes Edna. Better get out of the way!”
The Nasca home is at about 6000-foot elevation. They get their water from a spring and they didn’t have indoor plumbing until 2003. “I thought this was just going to be a hunting cabin,” said Edna, but “we’ve lived here for 40 years.” In the winter, Edna and Joe sometimes spend a couple of months in Quartzite, Arizona, living in their conversion van.
Edna said she was “so surprised” to learn that she was chosen as Grand Marshal. “I’m proud to be following in the footsteps of Wilma Rasmussen,” a friend who was active in the American Legion and also was a Grand Marshal. “We still raise a glass every year in memory of Wilma.”
Edna urges veterans to consider becoming active in the American Legion. “If you’re a veteran, please come to the meetings,” she said. “It’s important.”
Corvallis American Legion Post #91 and Auxiliary Unit #91 will host the 102st annual Corvallis Memorial Day Parade at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 30, 2022. This year the parade theme is “Let Freedom Ring.” The Parade Grand Marshal is an Army veteran, Veteran Advocate and Post #91 member, Edna Nasca.
Edna has served in the Corvallis American Legion Post #91 for 24 years. She has been the Commander, 1st Vice Commander and Service Officer. She is a faithful member of the Honor Guard. For many years she has worked all facets of the Corvallis Memorial Day parade but this year we honor her service to community, state, and nation. Please join us for the parade this year.
To start the parade this year, the famous C-47, Miss Montana, will put out the parachutists. Once the parachute team is on the ground, World War II fighters (P51 Mustang and F4U Corsair) will perform two fly overs. During the last fly over the aircraft will conduct the Missing Man Formation.
After the parade, at the Corvallis Cemetery at 12 noon, Post #91 will conduct its annual memorial ceremony. Post members will name all the veterans buried at the cemetery dating back to the Mexican War (1848). After the cemetery ceremony, post members will move to the Woodside Cutoff Bridge and place a wreath in the Bitterroot River for all those who died at sea. The public is invited.
The Corvallis Performing Arts Booster Club is having a barbecue in front of the high school following the parade. They will be offering hamburgers, hotdogs, drinks, chips, and dessert. The Bitterroot Community Band will be performing during the barbeque. Stay in town and have a meal. Help support the Performing Arts Booster Club and the Arts in the Corvallis Schools. Veterans eat free.
For 102 years the Bitterroot Valley has enjoyed this rich tradition of honoring those personnel and veterans who have died. We honor all the United States of America’s war dead — those who died that freedom might live.
World War I veterans started the Corvallis Memorial Day parade after they returned from Europe. The first parade consisted of a color guard and veterans, staging in the alley to the west of Main Street. 102 years ago, the first annual Corvallis Memorial Day Parade started south down a dirt Main Street.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. The holiday was first proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan and was observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. Until World War I many people in the South refused to acknowledge Decoration Day. Memorial Day is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.
Register online at [email protected] You can also register the day of the parade at the corner of 2nd and Market Street in Corvallis. Look for the parade registration signs.
For more information call Chris Kurinec at 406-802-4532, or email [email protected] Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/corvallispost91.