Aug 09 2022
Mackenzie Dahlberg | News Center 1
STURGIS, S.D. – The Sturgis Rally honored veterans throughout the day Tuesday with celebrations, memorials and presentations.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) also had representatives to discuss what they do to help veterans and how they are participating in the rally.
“No matter what the veterans coming out here, knowing that this day is devoted to them, it’s such a great gesture on behalf of Sturgis,” Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the VFW, Rob Couture, said.
The VFW addressed the crowd on top of the tower on Main Street and the Director of Membership gave a few words at the memorial for the Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams. The last remaining World War II Medal of Honor recipient from the United States Marine Corps, Williams died this year on June 29.
“Let’s take a look at last year. Afghanistan ended. So, for veterans, it was a pretty significant event. I’m a Afghan war vet myself and when I saw the evacuation of troops and people from Afghanistan, it was really hard for me to take,” Couture said. “But it’s not different than how any other veteran from previous generations felt.”
“I thought last summer what the Vietnam War veterans felt as they came home and they saw the fall of Saigon, how much that bothered them to see all the hard work, the friends that they lost, everything that they had done with mission, almost seemingly fall apart,” he continues. “But it’s really not about whether or not we win or lose that war. How many people were lost during that war? What was accomplished? It really has to do with the veterans themselves and that’s when a community comes together and celebrates our veterans. It makes us feel like we’re recognized for our service, that it was meaningful, it was appreciated, and we can continue on and be better members of the community.”
With more than half of Sturgis Rally riders being veterans, even the media briefing Tuesday was focused around the day.