Fallen Heroes banner display available The "Fallen Heroes" banner display, which was unveiled Aug. 8 at the state Capitol in honor of military members who lost their lives in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, can be reserved for suitable events across South Dakota. Several such events already are scheduled. The Fallen Heroes banners are intended for display in settings that provide respectful reflection of the brave sacrifices made by the American military heroes. There are 29 banners in the display, including an introduction banner and a banner naming donors that supported the project. Each banner is 6 feet by 3 feet, and is supported by a free-standing frame. Individual locking cases are used for travel. Fallen Heroes family members gathered at the Capitol grounds this month for the inaugural display of the banners. The event afforded family members an opportunity to see first-hand that their loved ones are not forgotten and the losses are shared by fellow South Dakotans. Each banner features the name, photo and a brief biography of the service member who died. Organizations and groups wishing to display the banner must adhere to the following criteria: • Banner must be displayed indoors • Banners must be secured after non-business hours • Entire display must be utilized • The banners must be picked up at and returned to the South Dakota Division of Veterans Affairs, Soldiers and Sailors Building, 425 E Capitol Avenue, Pierre, S.D. 57501 • The banner display can be reserved for two-weeks and is available on a first- come, first-served basis • Applications for display of the banners must be pre-approved by the Fallen Hero Banner Committee representative. Approval criteria include adequate space and lighting to properly view the display, suitable events or occasions for the display, proper safeguarding of the display, and availability of the banners during the requested time. The banners are currently on display through Aug. 21 in the West Wing on first floor of the South Dakota Capitol. They will then be displayed at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center through Sept. 7. The display can also be viewed on the following dates: • Sept. 11 at Cry Out America 911 Awakening American USA Program, Sioux Falls • Sept. 17-22 at Ellsworth Air Force Base • Oct. 10-12 at Furness Funeral Home, Clark • Nov. 6-18 at the GAR Hall in Yankton • Nov. 24 – Dec. 27 at the South Dakota National Guard Museum in Pierre, allowing visitors to the annual Capitol Christmas tree display to also view the banners while in the capital city • Jan. 11-13, 2010 at the South Dakota Retailers Convention in Pierre. • Jan. 15-30, 2010 at the Veterans Affairs Black Hills Health Center in Fort Meade • Feb. 11-15, 2010 at the American Legion Mid-Winter Conference in Oacoma • Feb. 18, 2010 at the South Dakota National Guard Legislative Dinner in Pierre • Feb. 19-March 9, 2010 at the South Dakota National Guard Museum in Pierre • May 24, 2010 at American Legion Post 8 Memorial Day Program in Pierre • June 16-22, 2010 at the American Legion State Convention in Spearfish For more information on the display, please contact the South Dakota Division of Veterans Affairs (605) 773-3269.