PIERRE – The South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs will be hosting a State Bridge Dedication Ceremony to honor combat veteran Spc. Mark Horner.
The ceremony will be held Saturday, July 3, at 10 a.m. at the BG Ernie Edwards Readiness Center in Watertown (1951 N. Highway 20).
The South Dakota Highway 20 Bridge over the Lake Kampeska outlet will be dedicated to Spc. Horner, of Watertown. Horner was killed in action on Feb. 15, 1970, when he encountered hostile forces while on a combat operation in Vietnam near the Cambodian border.
Naming bridges in honor of our combat veterans who died while serving their country is an initiative of Gov. 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.”