More than 1,000 people brave weather to remember fallen heroes - KOTA Territory News

More than 1,000 people brave weather to remember fallen heroes


Dense fog, pouring rain, and severe thunderstorms were not enough to keep veterans and civilians from saying thank you to our fallen heroes.
More than a thousand people filled Black Hills National Cemetery on Memorial Day for two Memorial Day services.

A Native American ceremony and a traditional ceremony were held with the theme: Our Fallen, Our Hero's, Our Freedom.

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, is the day to commemorate U.S. soldiers who died while serving our country.

Many Americans see this holiday weekend as nothing more than three days off of work.

But, veterans and speakers at the ceremony say it's important for people to remember and pay tribute to the true reason for the holiday.
"Memorial day is for those who lost their lives defending our country. It's not a joyful holiday, it's a really somber holiday," says Bill Haggerty, Director of Black Hills National Cemetery.
"You have to be one of us to really understand it. It's thoughts and memories that will never leave you, and this is our way of saying thanks," says Jim Dowding, a Vietnam Veteran.

In South Dakota alone, more than 15 percent of the population has served in the Armed Forces.

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