Sturgis Rally media briefing also honoring veterans

STURGIS, S.D. – The Sturgis Rally honored veterans throughout the day Tuesday with celebrations, memorials and presentations.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) also had representatives to discuss what they do to help veterans and how they are participating in the rally.

“No matter what the veterans coming out here, knowing that this day is devoted to them, it’s such a great gesture on behalf of Sturgis,” Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the VFW, Rob Couture, said.

The VFW addressed the crowd on top of the tower on Main Street and the Director of Membership gave a few words at the memorial for the Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams. The last remaining World War II Medal of Honor recipient from the United States Marine Corps, Williams died this year on June 29.

“Let’s take a look at last year. Afghanistan ended. So, for veterans, it was a pretty significant event. I’m a Afghan war vet myself and when I saw the evacuation of troops and people from Afghanistan, it was really had for me to take,” Couture said. “But it’s not different than how any other veteran from previous generations felt.”

“I thought last summer what the Vietnam War veterans felt as they came home and they saw the fall of Saigon, how much that bothered them to see all the hard work, the friends that they lost, everything that they had done with mission, almost seemingly fall apart,” he continues. “But it’s really not about whether or not we win or lose that war. How many people were lost during that war? What was accomplished? It really has to do with the veterans themselves and that’s when a community comes together and celebrates our veterans. It makes us feel like we’re recognized for our service, that it was meaningful, it was appreciated, and we can continue on and be better members of the community.”

With more than half of Sturgis Rally riders being veterans, even the media briefing Tuesday was focused around the day.

Tower PoseStill, the tally of calls and violations from the Sturgis Police Department and the Meade County Sheriff’s Office are provided below.

The Meade County Sheriff’s Office, from 6 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday, saw 87 calls for service compared to last year’s 115. They wrote nine tickets and had 30 warnings. For traffic accidents, there was only one that resulted in no injuries.

In the same time period, the Sturgis Police Department had two injury accident and two non-injury accidents. On non-traffic calls, there were 12 for drug/paraphernalia possession as a misdemeanor. There were also six violations of driving while intoxicated. The police department also had 29 traffic arrests and 18 non-traffic arrests.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Military, Local News, South Dakota News, Sturgis Rally