SIOUX FALLS MEMORIAL PARK
WWII Veteran Lester C. Bly stands in front of his engraved brick at the Veteran’s Memorial Park. Enlisted from 1944-1946, he was a Navy Surveyor for the 103rd SeaBees stationed at Guam and Pearl Harbor. Les is the father of Cindy (Bly) Bahe, at Stone Group Architects. Bly’s four brothers were also enlisted in the Marines, Air Force and Army.
Located in South Dakota’s largest city, this 22-acre park in Sioux Falls honors our military Veterans who have sacrificed so much to protect and preserve our country. This memorial highlights America’s values of life, liberty and happiness. The park, dedicated in 2006, hosts a Medal of Honor Garden, flags, memorial walls, dedication pavers, sculptures, historic displays, military displays, walking trail, and bridges over ponds. The Gold Star Families Monument honors families who lost their loved ones and preserves the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
One cannot help but be emotionally touched by this 11-foot sculpture “Going Home,” beautifully created by Sondra L. Jonson. It is a somber display of a fallen soldier being lifted by an angel to heaven. The “Bronze Eagle”, created by Italian artist Franco F. Omme, soars over the base made of locally derived quartzite rock. The eagle, the United States National Bird, stands six feet high and represents freedom.
The Rosie the Riveter Garden and plaques explain the history of how six million Americans stepped up to help our country. The mother of the Bly brothers was one of those who riveters who temporarily moved to Chicago to help support the military.
Eight conflicts beginning with Spanish American War to the Iraqi Freedom Wars are carved into large, rock slabs. The pink Sioux quartzite stones are roughly a billion and a half years old. The rocks were derived from the Sioux River Falls area which Sioux Falls is named after.
Several entertainers provide music at the amphitheater -one of which, the Sioux Falls Municipal Band, is a regular in the summertime. They provide free, concerts open to the public – many of them honoring our Veterans.
SIOUX FALLS, SD
Stone Group Architects (SGA) is a proud supporter of our Veterans and Military Memorials. While we are strong supporters, SGA is independent from the memorials and does not claim responsibility of building or funding these memorials. SGA is a verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small business (SDVOSB) architectural firm, providing planning and design services to a variety of government clients.