PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The annual South Dakota Firefighters Memorial Ceremony will be held Sunday, October 1st from 2:00 -3:30 p.m. (CST) in the Pierre Capitol Rotunda.
This year, a firefighter who died in the line of duty during a 1936 Black Hills wildland fire will be added alongside other names of the permanent memorial.
“While researching something totally unrelated, a South Dakota historian discovered that 19-year-old Archie Murphy, died while fighting a wildland fire. The Sioux Falls resident was with the Civilian Conservation Corps at the time.” said South Dakota Firefighter President Charlie Kludt.
The 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps was similar to the fire department of today.
Kludt stated he and the historian attempted to notify any family members to invite them to the ceremony but they were unable to find anyone related to Murphy.
Murphy will be honored on Sunday with Fred Fedeler, of the Chester Volunteer Fire Department. Fedeler was at the scene of an agricultural fire in April 2023, when he suffered a medical emergency and later died.
In September 2023, the Cavour Fire Chief Josh Kogel died in the line of duty due to a medical emergency. Kogel will be honored during the 2024 memorial and his name will be engraved alongside the other fallen firefighters dating back 100 years.
The Fallen Firefighter Memorial is engraved with the names of all firefighters who have died in the line of duty while protecting people and properties. It is located on the Capitol grounds by Capitol Lake alongside many other memorials.
The public is welcome to attend and there is no charge for the event.