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‘All Gave Some, Some Gave All’
Veteran’s Memorial bench dedicated on somber day in American history, 9/11
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

September 20. 2013 9:33AM
On the 12th anniversary of 9/11, a motorcycle group dedicated to publicizing the POW-MIA issue, remembered those left behind in war with a simple bench.
Atop the bench is the script, “All Gave Some, Some Gave All.”

The bench, created out of black marble, was placed and dedicated at the Brandon Veteran’s Memorial last Wednesday evening on the somber day in American history, 911.

“As Americans, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, will live in our memories,” said Tom Flint, commander of American Legion Post 318 in Brandon. “It is very fitting that we take time on this 12th anniversary of that tragic day in history to commemorate not only the estimated 1,000 people still missing from the World Trade Center, but the over 82,000 service members who are still missing from all of our nation’s conflicts.”

Flint told the crowd of about 70 on hand last Wednesday evening that we should never forget the images of planes flying into the World Trade Center or the smoke rising from the Pentagon.

“Remember the courage and compassion of the rescue workers who rushed to the scene: The firefighters and policemen who charged up the stairs, and the passengers who stormed the cockpit in Pennsylvania,” he encouraged. “Rekindle the feelings of national pride and outrage that all Americans felt. These memories must be preserved and passed on from one generation to the next, so we do not forget as a nation the common cause of freedom.”

Since 9/11, more than 2 million Americans have gone to war, Flint said, and added that America’s military personnel have demonstrated that those who wish to do America harm, will be brought to justice.

“This new generation of service members carries on the proud tradition of those who defended our nation throughout history,” Flint said. “Like the defenders of freedom from the past, too many will never come home. That is why we have placed this bench here at the Brandon Veteran’s Memorial to ensure that those who have given so much to our nation are never forgotten and that efforts to account for the missing continue.”

South Dakota’s first chapter of Rolling Thunder, Inc., donated the black marble bench that now sits among the Brandon Veterans Memorial monuments. Marilyn Jensen, wife of Rolling Thunder Chapter 1 President, Dale Jensen, said the bench is intended to serve as a place of honor for all military service personnel who are unaccounted for since World War I. The bench, she said, will stand as a constant reminder – that they will not be forgotten – for generations to come.

“This is something we know will stay,” Jensen said. “We’ll come and go, because people come and go. But this bench will be here forever.”

This black marble bench is the second of three benches that Rolling Thunder Chapter 1 is donating in he area. The first bench was placed in Plankinton in 2013, and George, Iowa, is on schedule for 2014.

In his address to the crowd, Mayor Larry Beesley equated 9/11 to when the Armistice agreement was signed, ending the “the war to end all wars.”

“I think back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s words on Dec. 7. Not many of us were around at that time – Dec. 7, 1942 – a day that will live infamy,” Beesley said. “I truly believe that Sept. 11, 2001, is this generation’s ‘day that will live in infamy.’ ”

Beesley said he remembers watching the 2001 attack on American soil on television. “Not believing my eyes … our country was under attack,” he said.

Beesley thanked both those who have served and are serving in the military to protect their country.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to those who died,” Beesley said. “But also to the brave young men and women who after all this – CHOSE – to serve our country and fight to keep our freedom, a freedom that is not free but cherished so much that Americans are willing to give their lives for it.”

The major function of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is to publicize the POW-MIA issue: To educate the public that many American Prisoners of War were left behind after all previous wars and to help correct the past and to protect the future veterans from being left behind should they become Prisoners Of War-Missing In Action. Rolling Thunder is committed to helping American veterans from all wars. Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is a non-profit organization and members donate his/her time because they believe in the POW/MIA issue they are focusing on.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is Friday, Sept. 20. There will be a ceremony at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Sioux Falls at 6 p.m. Larry Zimmerman, South Dakota Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, will be the guest speaker.

The public is welcome to attend.

Brandon Larry Beesley addressed the crowd of about 70 people at the Sept. 11 bench dedication ceremony. Brandon's American Legion Post 318 and Three Rivers VFW Post 4726 organized the program, which also paid tribute to 9/11. Photo by Jill Meier

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