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American Legion Riders honor Black Hills fallen soldiers

The Riders conducted the Black Hills National Cemetery wreath laying ceremony.
The Riders conducted the Black Hills National Cemetery wreath laying ceremony.(KOTA)
Published: May. 31, 2021 at 4:38 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Laying a wreath pays respect to the dead, and the American Legion Riders, Black Hills Chapter, conducted a ceremony doing just that.

Black Hills national cemetery has over 24 thousand men and women deserving of that respect.

Buried at the cemetery are men and women who served their country bravely, and some who made the ultimate sacrifice, their lives. A sacrifice that Black Hills National Cemetery Director, Terry Corkins knows personally through his own service.

“These are veterans that paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy these freedoms that we enjoy today. Without the sacrifice that they had given,” says Corkins, “we wouldn’t be the country that we are today.”

The American Legion Riders conducted the wreath laying ceremony. Many of these men and women have lost brothers and sisters in battle, and they’re ensuring that their bloodshed is not forgotten.

Most importantly, that their memory lives on.

Corkins spoke during and led much of the ceremony. His thoughts after, “We always have to remember all our veterans that have passed in the wars before. It’s important that we teach our young generations coming forward to respect our freedoms that we have today.”

Each grave lays to rest a man or woman, who lived a life for their country and their flag. Symbolizing the loss and bravery can be done through the colors red, white and blue.

“All of the gravesites have a flag on them. That’s a volunteer organization called Flags for Fallen Vets, and they had 800 to 1 thousand volunteers that helped them put over 26 thousand flags on graves for us this year,” says Corkins. “I’m a veteran myself. My fathers laid here to rest here. I have an uncle, cousins, school teachers too. I have a lot of ties to this cemetery. It’s an honor to come to work everyday and be able to serve all veterans and families that are laid to rest here.”

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