Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day 2016: Running With Ghosts

Along my preferred running route this year, lies the Veteran's Memorial Park. Dedicated to the memory of all those who from South Dakota who served in the Armed Forces over the years, it sits on land that was once part a U.S. Army radio school during World War II.

The park's centerpiece is a oval walk with plaques commemorating each of South Dakotans who have been awarded the Medal of Honor
The radio school is long gone, replaced by an industrial park and neighborhoods that expanded with the growth of the 1950s. A few remnants remain, mostly a row of brick duplexes, and a gridline of roads that were laid out and paved originally for the base.

I don't believe in ghosts. But visiting this place, walking through the honor ring, you can swear that you hear spirits of the men to whom this place is dedicated drifting quietly among their monuments. Running... I swear that I can hear sergeants call cadence, and feel the rumble of squads of men nearly half my age marching by, preparing for a war that some of them would not come back from.

One side of the monument listing the wars South Dakotans have fought in since achieving statehood.

Second side of the monument

The third and fourth sides are blank. May they never be filled.
Thanks to the ones who have come back, the ones who never came back, and the ones who will go in the future.

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