Since its dedication over 20 years ago, the Brookings County Veteran’s Memorial Park celebrates both well-known national figures and those only remembered by family and friends. It has been the site of annual services hosted by cadets from SDSU’s Air Force ROTC program to honor our veterans. Two honor guards patrol the memorial for 24 hours on Veterans Day to remember those who lost their lives. As part of the annual POW/MA run, cadets finish at the memorial after running over 55 miles from the Sioux Falls Veterans Memorial.
Lush grasses and calm waters make it a picturesque place to walk and reflect. The memorial is known as one of the most breathtaking monuments in the area. The 2-acresite features a pond, walking trails and a monument to all five branches of our nation’s service members. Visitors can take a moment to acknowledge the sacrifices veterans have made for their families and the country.
Anyone connected to the military can see themselves in this memorial. Veterans and families can remember the people they met and those who did not come home. The military values which shaped who these people were can be felt while gazing at the engraved stone beneath the white arches.
These memorials serve as historical markers and inspirations at the same time. As the call of duty sounded, our veterans answered and fought for our country. Current enlistees carry on the caring and selfless spirit of our past veterans. Memorials like this teach people the importance of respecting and remembering those who have died, fought, participated, or suffered during past conflicts. This memorial is dedicated to all those Americans who have built the foundations of what the United States of America is about, built on service and honor by sacrifice.
*This story has been written in collaboration with South Dakota State Universities Public Relations class for our 2023 Visitor Guide.*