Honor Their Service: Memorial Day ceremony for fallen heroes
Our country was built on people fighting for freedom and the freedom of generations to come. Every hour, every minute of every day, our service men and women are across the globe, putting their lives in danger for us. NewsCenter 1 would like to recognize those people and the people who advocate for them here at home.
In this week’s edition of “Honor Their Service,” we take a look at how members of the Rapid City community paid tribute to our fallen heroes on this Memorial Day.
A wreath laying ceremony was held at the Black Hills Veterans Memorial in Memorial Park. Despite the dreary conditions, people from the city and local veteran groups gathered to honor the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
“South Dakota has a long and proud tradition of stepping forward when our country needed them. And so with that you’ll see these ceremonies are really well attended. People show up and want to honor those sacrifices,” said South Dakota National Guard Brigade General Jeff Marlette at Monday’s ceremony. He went on to say that “over 500,000 service members who have died for this country and have never come home. And I use the flag that when people think about the American Flag and instead of looking at the stars and just thinking about the 50 states, they recognize that each of those stars represents over 10,000 service members who gave it all for this country.”
After the wreath laying, a memorial salute and the playing of TAPS was provided by TREA Chapter 29 Firing Squad.
Rapid City Alderwoman from Ward 5, Darla Drew, was also one of the speakers of the ceremony. Having grown up in a military household, this day holds a lot of significance for her. “Of course it marks a major day when we honor the dead and the fallen of our wars. And we’ve had a lot of people to memorialize. I wish we didn’t have to have days like this, but we do and we have to honor their service,” said Alderwoman Drew.
A letter was also read during the ceremony on behalf of the offices of Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds and Representative Dusty Johnson.
Governor Kristi Noem ordered flags across the state to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon on this Memorial Day. In a press release last week, Governor Noem wrote that is was “so that we remember those who sacrificed everything to preserve our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”