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South Dakota’s ‘Fallen Heroes Bridge Dedication’ Program continues successfully

A bridge in Hot Springs was dedicated for 2nd Lt. Maynard C. Freemole, a World War II soldier...
A bridge in Hot Springs was dedicated for 2nd Lt. Maynard C. Freemole, a World War II soldier from Edgemont. (photo courtesy South Dakota Governor's Office) (KOTA)
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 9:09 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. - Since 2019, South Dakota has been honoring its veterans who have fallen in combat through its ‘Fallen Heroes Bridge Dedication’ program.

“We thought this was going to be a great idea to honor those veterans and families, and it has just been a great program so far,” explained Greg Whitlock, South Dakota Veteran Affairs Secretary.

Following the lead of the state’s Veteran Affairs office, 21 bridges will have been named to honor veterans who were killed in action (KIA) through the end of this year. 12 of those bridges will be dedicated in 2021.

“It is about recognizing and honoring not just the veterans, but the families as well,” explained Whitlock. “They get to recognize that sacrifice every time they go over that bridge, there is that family member who is named after it.”

A bridge honoring SGT. Daniel Busse, who was killed in Vietnam, lies close to Harrold, between Pierre and Highmore. His brother Jan says every time he sees it, he thinks of his brother before he left for the war.

“I just remember the day he left and things like that go through my mind when you go across,” said Jan Busse. “Just remembering things about him from when he was a young man.”

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can nominate a fallen veteran for the program, you can visit the South Dakota Veteran Affair’s website.