It has been one year since 28-year-old Lyle Eagle Tail and 16-year-old Madison Wallace sacrificed their own lives trying to save a little boy at Falls Park in Sioux Falls.
What was meant to be a fun day at Falls Park for Eagle Tail and his fiancé Shawna Rabbit quickly turned into a nightmare. Eagle Tail saw a child in danger and rushed to help. Soon, he and Madison Wallace were trapped under the ice as they tried to save six-year-old Garrett Wallace.
"To me, I am still in shock even though it has been a year," Rabbit said.
Rabbit's emotions left her with a loss for words.
"I just think about all the memories and everything we did together. He was a good person," Rabbit said.
"Lyle is the type of person where, if you're hungry you can go to his place or his apartment, he will feed you,” Eagle Tail’s aunt Clarrisa Eagle Tail said. “Lyle was a lover of life and he didn't judge nobody. He would give you the shirt off his back. If you needed a warm place to stay, he would open his door for you all the times."
Eagle Tail's family plans to have a naming ceremony for him, also known as "wiping away the tears." After a year of grief, the family comes together to celebrate his life.
"The reason why we do this is because when we cross over or when we enter the spiritual world. We need to have a name in our own way through native custom and we will be recognized in the way," memorial organizer John Eagle said.
"He was always trying to make someone happy, if he saw someone sad or down or whatever, he would try and make them happy, even if he was sad," Shawna said.
The memorial for Eagle Tail and Wallace will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Falls Park. Everyone is welcome to attend and pay their respects.