Crazy Horse Memorial: what to see and what’s coming up

CUSTER COUNTY, S.D. — Besides being part of the 2021 Labor Day weekend, September 5th holds extra historical significance.

On September 5th, the Oglala Lakota Sioux warrior Tasunke Witko, also known as Crazy Horse, was fatally wounded by a soldier’s bayonet.

In one famous part of his life, when asked by a cavalry soldier “Where are your lands now,” Crazy Horse responded “My lands are where my dead lay buried.”

Crazy Horse134 years later, his legacy is forever captured and celebrated at the Crazy Horse Memorial in Custer County. Here visitors can learn about him and indigenous peoples nationwide.

Terry de Rouchey, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member and Crazy Horse Vice President of Visitor Services, spoke of the person Crazy Horse was.

“He was known for his prowess in battle, but he was also well-respected by his people for they way he looked out for them”

The idea for the monument came about in the ending days of World War II. Oglala Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear contacted sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski about building a monument to Crazy Horse in the Black Hills. The project started in the late 1940’s and continues today.

Visitors from many different places come to see the monument. Once complete, it will stand over 560 feet tall and more than 640 feet in length as the world’s largest sculpture.

On top of seeing the monument, guests can also check out some of the other points of interest on the property.

These include: the Indian Museum of North America, the Laughing Water Restaurant, and the veranda, where cultural performances occur May through September.

Upcoming events scheduled for fall include artists in residence, Remembrance Day, the Legends in Light laser show, and the Volksmarch at the end of the month. At this event, attendees can hike up and see the mountain up-close.

“To sum it up, Crazy Horse was humble, he was well-respected,” de Rouchey explains. “He never surrendered, he never signed a treaty, and those are some of the reasons why he was chosen to represent all Native American people.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News