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SD Bridge to be Dedicated in Honor of U.S. Army Air Corps CPT Elmer Rusch

FOR RELEASE: Friday, September 24, 2021


For information, contact: Audry Ricketts at 605-773-8242 or audry.ricketts@state.sd.us (South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs)


PIERRE, S.D. The South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs will be hosting a State Bridge Dedication Ceremony to honor U.S. Army Air Corps Combat Veteran Captain Elmer Rusch.


The ceremony will be Friday, October 8, 2021, at 11 a.m. (CT) at the DePuy Military Hall on the SDSU Campus in Brookings (1150 Campanile Avenue).


The South Dakota HWY 14 Bypass Bridge over the east branch of Six Mile Creek, just west of Medary Avenue, will be dedicated to CPT Rusch.


Rusch graduated from South Dakota State University in 1941 and was commissioned as an officer through their ROTC program.   In June of 1944 he was stationed in England with the 101st Airborne Division and was part of the glider force participating in the D-Day invasion. He was killed in action when his glider landed in a field completely covered by German fire.    


Naming bridges in honor of our combat veterans who died while serving their country is an initiative of Governor Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Departments of Military, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs.


“Whenever and wherever this nation has called, in times of darkness and danger, as well as in times of peace and prosperity, veterans have been there and have proudly carried the torch of liberty for all to see,” said Greg Whitlock, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.


“Our fallen heroes are no longer with us, but their memory lives on in the hearts of their loved ones and our state,” said Whitlock. “Naming our South Dakota bridges in honor of our fallen will give us an opportunity of remembrance, reflection, and respect—for honoring the men and women who gave their lives in service to this nation. They cherished liberty and loved freedom enough to lay down their lives to preserve our way of life.”