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Opinion: Monument, history meant nothing to kids

Published 02/18/2011, The Daily Republic

The students slowly circled the statue. They looked at the two bronze horses battling for supremacy. Do you know what this statue means, their teacher asked? Silence. Finally, one of the students hazarded a guess: It must have something to do with horses or horse racing. The teacher offered a hint. There were eight plaques at the base and one was for George S. Mickelson, the state’s 28th governor. More silence. Finally, the teacher explained that the Fighting Stallions Memorial in Pierre is a tribute to Mickelson and seven other South Dakotans who were killed in a plane crash on April 19, 1993. In addition to Mickelson, three South Dakota business leaders and four state employees died in the accident, and their faces and a brief bio appear at the base of the memorial.

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