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Fallen Hero’s Bridges to honor 2 Black Hills Vietnam veterans

todayMay 27, 2024 3

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) –The city of Rapid City held its Memorial Day remembrance event at Memorial Park this morning.

Members from each military branch were present, as several guest speakers shared their stories.

Several groups were present, representing branches and organizations from the Revolutionary War to present day.

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“It’s important to take the opportunity whenever you see a veteran, to honor them and thank them. Because, it is because of them, that we get to enjoy the freedoms that we’re enjoying here today, to assemble and to honor the past,” Rapid City Mayor Jason Salamun said.

At today’s event two Vietnam veterans will be remembered by having different bridges named after them as this year 12 bridges across KELOLAND were chosen for 15 veterans to be honored.

They are called Fallen Hero bridges.

“I think it is very important to have their name on the bridge as you’re crossing the bridge. You look up there and this bridge is in honor of Lieutenant Daniel Kirchgesler or Sargent Lelund Kahler. You know, I think it’s very important,” Vietnam Veteran Dave Gates said.

“When we think about the idea of bridges and what they symbolize, it’s very appropriate that that’s an honor fitting for those who made the ultimate sacrifice bridging you know this great country with the freedoms that we have,” Salamun said.

Gates wants days like today to continue throughout the year, remembering those who fought for our freedoms.

“You don’t let people forget what these guys gave, for us, so that we can stand out here on this green area and talk about it today,” Gates said.

The Fallen Heroes Bridge Naming Committee from the South Dakota Department of Veteran Affairs will select the bridges the veterans will be celebrated at.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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