PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — An empty ‘chair of honor’ will be dedicated Monday in the South Dakota Capitol acknowledging members of the U.S. armed forces who have been prisoners of war or missing in action.
The public ceremony is set for 2 p.m. CT in the Capitol on the second floor’s west wing. The Brookings chapter of Rolling Thunder Charities donated the chair and planned to install it Sunday.
Vicki McDougall, the chapter’s treasurer, said there is a photo of the chair but the board’s chairman, Bob Foster, wanted it kept private until after the dedication Monday.
“Even many members of our committee haven’t seen it,” she told KELOLAND News.
The state Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Commission gave approval for the Rolling Thunder project in April.
The chair will be the second display within the Capitol honoring veterans. Plaques highlighting Congressional Medal of Honor recipients from South Dakota are displayed on the Capitol’s first floor.
World War II, Korea and Vietnam memorials are outside along neighboring Capitol Lake. The Soldiers and Sailors Building near the Capitol marks World War I, and a Civil War memorial is in a park near Capitol Lake.
Governor Kristi Noem has pre-filed legislation seeking state lawmakers’ approval of $3.5 million to develop a master plan for Capitol Lake, the veterans memorials, plugging the historic flaming fountain and piping water from the Missouri River uphill to the lake.