South Dakota's Fallen Heroes
The creation of the Fallen Heroes traveling banners display was a dream of Chaplain Lynn Wilson, a South Dakota Army National Guard member. Chaplain Wilson found himself deeply touched during the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial in Pierre, SD. During this dedication he asked himself, “Why did we wait so long to come together as a great State to express our thanks and gratitude?” This imprint, this reflection upon the past, this regret was not to be forgotten. Rather, it inspired him to find a way – a way to act now – to not wait years to share a similar thanks and gratitude for the lives of our South Dakota service members lost during the conflicts of Operation Enduring and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following conversations with other patriotic and dedicated people who became as quickly inspired as he, a committee was formed in which the idea of creating picture banners to memorialize the lives of these great heroes was set in motion. The families of the Fallen were contacted to inquire of their feelings towards this idea which resulted in their blessing to move forward. Through the hard work, the passion, the dedication and the financial contributions of many, these service member’s lives were remembered and their families honored at the dedication of these banners in Pierre, SD at a private ceremony August 8, 2009.
Since 2017, the banners have been displayed on or near Memorial Day on the State Capitol grounds and the Fallen Heroes Memory Book has been maintained on this web site so that they may give a moment of pause to recognize that with these names comes a face, a history, a once lived life to be treasured for all time.
Fallen Hero Memory Book
A "Fallen Heroes Memory Book" has been created by the families of our fallen heroes. This book travels with the banner display and is available for your viewing by clicking on the above title.