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Governor's Column: SD's Strong Foundation





 

            Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501

605-773-3212

www.sd.gov

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, June 15, 2018

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard at 605-773-3212

 

EDITORS/NEWS DIRECTORS:  Please consider the following column from Gov. Dennis Daugaard. For an audio recording of the Governor’s weekly column, visit news.sd.gov/media.aspx and click on “Audio” under “Governor Dennis Daugaard.”

 

 

South Dakota’s Strong Foundation

 

A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

 

This month marks the 110th anniversary of the laying of the State Capitol cornerstone. The four-foot by four-foot Ortonville granite cube, which features an engraving of the State Seal on the south side, cost $475 and was laid in a Masonic ceremony on June 25, 1908, two years before workmen completed the building.

 

The cornerstone was dedicated by Gov. Coe Crawford and General William Henry Harrison Beadle, known as the “Savior of the School Lands” for establishing the permanent school fund in South Dakota and several other states.

 

In his speech during the ceremony Gov. Crawford noted, in part, that the Capitol “will stand throughout the coming years as an expression of beauty and art, and as the people come and go and linger within its walls, they will see in it an expression of the soul of the state."

 

In addition to serving as the Capitol’s structural base, the cornerstone is a time capsule, containing coins, building schematics, a Bible, photographs, newspapers, and a variety of papers, and speeches. When installed, it established a strong foundation for the capitol building.

 

Or did it?

 

Cornerstones are often the symbolic anchors of large buildings, but most offer just a glimpse of the strong support mechanism underneath. In the case of the State Capitol, the cornerstone rests upon a broad rampart of brick and ordinary fieldstones, hauled to the worksite from the fields and pastures of central South Dakota.

 

Sometimes we see our elected officials as the cornerstone of state government, but this is only symbolic strength. South Dakota’s true foundation is its citizens.

 

Earlier this month, we went to the polls and voted on individuals to stand for election this fall as our representatives on the school board, county commission, in city government, the legislature, Congress, and as our next governor.

 

The right to vote is the cornerstone of democracy and our elected leaders serve as only the public face of a vast interlocking support network, working together to shore up our state. It’s the people who form the strong foundation of our government, our state, and our society.

 

In many ways, our beautiful Capitol building does serve as an “expression of the soul of the state.” If you stop by the Capitol in Pierre, take a moment to visit the cornerstone in the building’s southwest corner, and remember the strong foundation that lies beneath.

 

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