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Arts & Life

Personalities: South Dakota Soldiers, Sailors, War Memorials

Exterior of the Soldiers and Sailors World War Memorial
nps.gov
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On July 16, 1994, Chuck Anderson visited Pierre to attend an event called "South Dakotans in WWII." It took place at the newly minted Soldiers and Sailors World War Memorial Building, and Chuck got to take a tour.

He met George Summerside, the Veterans Education Program Representative for the State Office inside the building where the Robinson Museum and State Historical Society used to be.

George begins to describe the layout of the memorial.

sdwwii_column_and_window.mp3
George describes the symbolism of the broken column and the window overlooking it.

He then shows Chuck where South Dakota's Congressional Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized.

sdwwii_hall_of_honor.mp3
George describes how the Hall of Honor will be laid out and emphasizes that it is a living, breathing exhibit.

Congressional Medals of Honor from the left: Army, Air Force, and Navy

Congressional Medals of Honor from the left: Army, Air Force, and Navy
Credit Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Congressional Medals of Honor from the left: Army, Air Force, and Navy

George made sure to note that there are only three Medals of Honor, one for each branch of service. The Marines (Chuck's branch) and Coast Guard fall under US Navy jurisdiction, so one medal encompasses them all. Chuck responded in jest.

sdwwii_chuck_and_george_joke.mp3
Chuck and George joke about the friendly namecalling between military branches.

George comes back to the medals and says just over 3,000 soldiers, out of the millions who served, have received the noble prize. He names the eight South Dakotans who will be honored.

Brigadier General Charles Roberts

sdwwii_charles_roberts.mp3

Captain Joe Foss

sdwwii_joe_foss.mp3

Colonel Leo Thorsness

sdwwii_leo_thorsnus.mp3

Captain Willibald Bianchi

sdwwii_willibald_bianchi.mp3

Captain Arlo Olson

sdwwii_arlo_olson.mp3

Specialist Four Michael Fitzmaurice

sdwwii_michael_fitzmorris.mp3

Private First Class Herbert Littleton

sdwwii_herbert_littleton.mp3

General Patrick Henry Brady

sdwwii_patrick_henry_brady.mp3

Two other South Dakotans, who were not mentioned on Chuck's program, received the Medal of Honor:

Sergeant Isaac Fry

Master Sergeant Woodrow Keeble

Chuck later went to the grounds outside and met with some old and new friends. Gloria MacKoy, a professional singer from DeSmet slated to perform at the memorial celebration, described her motivation for her work.

sdwwii_gloria_mccoy.mp3
Gloria McCoy talks about the importance of forming relationships with veterans.

He also meets the Adjutant General of South Dakota, General Harold Sykora, who hosted the celebration.

sdwwii_harold_sykora_1.mp3
Sykora says the event was scheduled on July 16th because it's an important anniversary.

He wanted the celebration around the memorial so it would be a piece of reflection in the background.

sdwwii_harold_sykora_2.mp3
Sykora says the memorial is a tribute to veterans.

Chuck caps off his show with performances by the 147th Army National Band and Gloria McCoy. Here's a sampling of the band's performance:

sdwwii_147th_band.mp3
The 147th Band plays "The Army Goes Rolling Along."

Hear Chuck's entire "South Dakotans in WWII" experience here:

sdwwii_07-16-94.mp3
South Dakotans in WWII

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