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SD Bridge to be Dedicated in Honor of U.S. Army Sergeant James Haider

FOR RELEASE: Friday, July 29, 2022


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 next month to honor U.S. Army Sergeant James Haider.


The ceremony will be held Saturday, August 13, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. (CT) at the BG Ernie Edwards Readiness Center in Watertown (1951 N. HWY 20). 


The Big Sioux River Bridge on US HWY 212 will be dedicated to SGT Haider.


Haider was killed on June 9, 1969, as the result of fatal fragment wounds he received when his unit came under intense enemy mortar attack near the village of Nuoc Dang (approximately 32 miles south of Quang Ngai City in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of South Vietnam).


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 memories live on in the hearts of their loved ones and our state,” said Whitlock. “Naming our South Dakota bridges in honor of our fallen gives 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.”