Letters Information requested on WWII casualties

To the editor:

For the third consecutive year, eighth graders at Spearfish Middle School are requesting your help in locating next-of-kin for South Dakotans who perished in WWII.

Our book, Fallen Sons of South Dakota in WWII, thus far contains biographies for 250 of the estimated 1,595 South Dakota casualties and should be available soon on a state web site, sdwwiimemorial.com, which is currently under construction. We plan to add all subsequent biographies to both the book and the state web site.

In Clay County, we are actively seeking information regarding Lowell A. Anderson, Gordon E. Brown, Fern O. Bruebaker, Ernest C. Delaney, Harold K. Delaney, Dale E. Firof, and Tommy G. Hendricks. We are also still inquiring about Howard W. Rasmussen of Burbank. Please contact us if you have pertinent information or if you wish to submit another name for consideration.

A related project, in conjunction with my Mandel Fellowship awarded by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, is to preserve the memories of South Dakota GIs with eyewitness testimonies of the concentration camps. First-hand accounts are desired, but families of deceased veterans are invited to submit anecdotal information.

Please write to shansen.mspo@spearfish.k12.sd.us or Sheila Hansen, c/o Spearfish Middle School, 525 E. Illinois, Spearfish, SD 57783. To reveal, preserve, and protect the memories of South Dakotans in WWII is our challenge and creating a lasting legacy for South Dakota is our goal.

Sheila G. Hansen

Spearfish Middle School

New fire hall is wise investment

To the editor:

I have been following the discussion on the proposed new fire/ambulance station. I am slightly amazed it has been two and a half years since I left Vermillion as ambulance director and the station is still in the talking stage.

Let me first say yes, $1.2 million is a lot of money, but not having the proper facilities to keep your EMTs and firefighters trained, housed and prepared for whatever emergency arises will cost you a lot more.

I would like to share some thoughts on the meeting room, training room, and sleeping room. When we first started talking about the possibility of building this station, Doug Brunick and myself sat down for hours trying to decide what his needs and my needs would be. We discussed the need for each of the rooms mentioned, their importance to each of us and how we could jointly use the rooms.

We considered the cost and made every effort to make the most good out of every foot of the building. At the time of our discussions I was teaching at least one EMT class a year, over 24 CPR classes each year, numerous continuing education classes a month, plus meeting with the ambulance squad once a month, and holding training classes at least once a month.

Just as my schedule for the use of the current facility was busy, Doug's was as busy or busier than mine. We worked well together so we each could provide quality care to the community we served.

My point being there were many times the classroom space and training space just was not available. With the new building, all this was considered and that is how the meeting room and training room were decided.

Sleeping rooms needed? I used to try and explain how difficult it is when a call comes in for help and you are at home five to 10 minutes away or the roads are icy and you can't get to the station any quicker. There is a hopelessness a person feels; if you have never lived it you will not understand.

I was approached by one councilman before I left about the importance of this building, not only the building but the working relationship between the fire department and the ambulance department. I told him then and I wish to tell not only him but the rest of the council that what Vermillion has with the working relationship between the two departments is very good and I would like to see what was working when I was there to continue and grow even more.

Your city has a group of dedicated firefighters and EMTs. I thought and still think a $1.2 million building is a wise investment for the services the citizens of Vermillion and the surrounding area receive.

Randy Crum

Creston, IA

New fire hall is embarrassment

To the editor:

To just say "No" seems insufficient to express my opinion of the way the subject of a new fire house for the City of Vermillion was handled.

I agree with the mayor that "we are embarrassing the people who are out here in front of us tonight," but for an entirely different reason than he expressed. The fire house, instead of being a symbol of pride and an expression of the well deserved gratitude by the citizens to the volunteer firemen, will always be a symbol of controversy for the way it was built, in my opinion.

Charlie Amant


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