CROOKS, S.D. (KELO) — November 11 is Veterans Day, a day we set aside to honor the men and women who have proudly served our country.
In Crooks, South Dakota, the community has spent the last two years coming together in order to honor veterans in a different way.
Until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes…you have no idea of the struggles and battles veterans encountered or conquered.
Air Force veteran Danny Fredricksen, who has a traumatic brain injury and MS, kneels down on a cold windy day at the Headstone of Freedom.
It’s the centerpiece of Veterans Park which is still under construction.
“Basically I knelt down just to say a prayer for all of those who I have known who are no longer with us,” Fredricksen said.
“Going across the dirt was a little rough, but I’m willing to do it,” Fredricksen said.
“As you go through South Dakota every small community has something that recognizes their veterans and we are a very proud and patriotic state, well in Crooks we are going to be the same,” Veterans Park board member Rick Tupper said.
Crooks is building a two-acre park dedicated to the veterans.
“We’re just kind of getting it started we started phase one this fall and that’s what we are kicking off this week with Veterans Day,” Tupper said.
Phase two will include putting up service flags and other memorials.
“We’ll also have pavers that you can buy to recognize a veterans or someone in your family,” Tupper said.
“We have a lot of military families in this town,” Crooks mayor Butch Oseby said.
The mayor thinks Veterans Park will be a big draw and symbolize a lot of what Crooks stands for.
“It’s about time, as a community, we honor our vets who have died or lost a limb or still around…,” Oseby said.
Like Fredricksen, who gave us chills on this cold November day and an added appreciation for the men and women who serve our country.
Even though it’s not finished, tomorrow Crooks will hold its first Veterans Day program at the new park beginning at 11 am. It’s being funded entirely by private donations, if you’d like to help you can send a check or money to Crooks Veterans Park, 303 E Main Street, Crooks, SD, 57020